NSW VB Blues stars Jarryd Hayne and Ryan Hoffman have become the first dual winners of the prestigious Brad Fittler Medal.
At a gala dinner in Sydney, Hayne and Hoffman were presented their medals as the players of the historic 2014 Holden State of Origin series.
Hayne and Hoffman polled highest in votes from their fellow VB Blues players, as well as coach Laurie Daley and his coaching staff.
Daley said the pair, who were presented their awards by Fittler and last year’s winner Greg Bird, each deserved to take away the honour from the series.
“Jarryd and Ryan were outstanding over the course of the series and played key roles in our series victory,” Daley said. “Jarryd came up with some critical plays and Ryan was tireless for us. This is deserved recognition of their efforts.”
Hayne, who was players’ player in the game-one victory at Suncorp Stadium, also took out the inaugural Daily Telegraph People’s Choice Award, from a popular vote of more than 5000 supporters.
Brett and Josh Morris were also given dual recognition for their efforts, jointly taking out the Tru Blue Award for showing Blues values.
“Brett and Josh both played on under duress in game one and came up with inspirational plays which highlighted the squad’s commitment to the Blues ethos,” Daley said. “It is fitting that they have been able to share this newly-created award.”
The awards were presented as part of a dinner, at Curzon Hall in Marsfield, to celebrate the major feats by all of the NSWRL’s competitions, clubs and teams.
Wentworthville Magpies’ Bureta Faraimo was crowned the VB NSW Cup Player of the Year, Western Suburbs Magpies’ Dayne Craig was named the Ron Massey Cup Player of the Year, while Peninsula Seagulls’ Vincent Ngaro took out the Sydney Shield Player of the Year award.
Sydney Roosters’ Latrell Mitchell (SG Ball) and Balmain Tigers’ Ryan Papenhuyzen (Harold Matthews) won the major junior rep awards from the 2014 season.
“Tonight was a fitting celebration of the success we have had this year, from the grassroots to State of Origin,” NSWRL chief executive David Trodden said.
“All the award winners have made significant contributions to rugby league in NSW and I congratulate all of them.”
A list of major award winners follows:
Harold Matthews Player of the Year
Ryan Papenhuyzen – Balmain Tigers
SG Ball Player of the Year
Latrell Mitchell – Sydney Roosters
Sydney Shield Player of the Year
Vincent Ngaro – Peninsula Seagulls
Ron Massey Cup Player of the Year
Dayne Craig – Western Suburbs Magpies
VB NSW Cup Player of the Year
Bureta Faraimo – Wentworthville Magpies
Most Improved Junior Referee of the Year
Most Improved Senior Referee of the Year
The NSWRL Welfare & Education Academic Award
Kurt Aldridge – North Sydney Bears
Ray Stellar Award
Michelle Kelly – Asquith Magpies
Women’s Player of the Year
Kezie Apps – Helensburgh Tigers
KARI Indigenous Player of the Year
Adam Campbell – Parramatta Eels
NSW under-20s Player of the Year
Jake Mamo – Newcastle Knights
NSW VB Blues Man of the Match – Game I
NSW VB Blues Man of the Match – Game II
NSW VB Blues Man of the Match – Game III
The Daily Telegraph People’s Choice Award
Tru Blue Award
Brett Morris and Josh Morris
Brad Fittler Medal
Jarryd Hayne and Ryan Hoffman