Photos from the 2018 Dally Ms

Photos from the 2018 Dally Ms


The NRL's prestigious annual award will head across the Tasman.


Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has taken the 2018 Dally M medal across the ditch.

The New Zealand Warrior was named not just the fullback of the year at the annual award but also the overall winner.

Immediately after accepting his award, he was celebrated by his Kiwi counterparts.

Tuivasa-Sheck snaffled 14 points in the last nine rounds of the comp. He finished on 29 points, two clear of Newcastle Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga.

Ponga missed the last two weeks of the regular season with an ankle injury, while Tigers No.6 Luke Brooks was next best on 26.

Sharks fullback Valentine Holmes came in at fourth in the voting after a strong back half of the year.

And it can only be left to the imagination as to how well Knights halfback Mitchell Pearce (23pts) would have polled had he not missed three months with injury.

EARLIER: Mick Potter knows the heady heights of a Dally M win at 20-years-old, but even he's blown away by what Kalyn Ponga has achieved this NRL season.

Newcastle sensation Ponga is aiming to become the youngest Dally M winner in NRL history when it's announced at Sydney's Circular Quay on Wednesday night.

Wind back to 1984 and Potter was a shock winner of rugby league's highest individual medal at age 20, before Penrith great Greg Alexander repeated the feat the following year.

Should Ponga walk away with the award, he will be several months younger than both Potter and Alexander were when they achieved the feat.

Both entered their respective Dally M seasons as 20-year-olds while Ponga only blew out the candles on his birthday cake five days after the Knights' round three loss to the Sydney Roosters.

He became the the youngest recipient of the Players' Champion at the RLPA awards earlier in the month.

According to the bookmakers, Ponga is on the fourth line of betting behind red-hot favourite Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Damien Cook and Valentine Holmes.

Potter served as an assistant on Nathan Brown's coaching staff this year and having watched Ponga up close, he described him as a rare breed.

"He's got a drive that's really impressive," Potter said.

"He's going to be a marked man next year and have it a little bit tougher because teams, they're going to see whether he changes up what he does.

"And he knows it's coming. He's doesn't just think now he's played a year or first grade and played State of Origin and it's all going to come easy."

When Dally M voting went behind closed doors after round 12, Ponga was on 16 points, just one behind Penrith playmaker James Maloney and equal with Luke Brooks and Andrew Fifita.

What will count against Ponga are the four games he missed in the final eight weeks - including wins against Parramatta and Gold Coast which would have been golden chances to poll points.

Potter said while he felt like he was a shock winner as Canterbury's No.1 in 1984, Ponga had guided the Knights around the park for most of the season.

"It all flashed past, I was surprised to start in first-grade at the start of the year," Potter said.

"It was fantastic playing behind a group of players that were just hardened. They were tough. They knew how to win. 

"I felt like I was just a support for most of those guys. I was taken aback by getting that award, I thought I was just a bit-part player... It's totally different for Kalyn.


Odds for the Dally M according to bookmaker TAB

  • Roger Tuivasa-Sheck - $1.75
  • Damien Cook - $5
  • Valentine Holmes - $6
  • Kalyn Ponga - %6.50
  • Luke Brooks - $17
  • Andrew Fifita - $41

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