Don’t discount South Sydney Rabbitohs five-eighth Cody Walker when it comes to the race for the Dally M award, according to True Blue Jamie Soward.
Soward has told Behind Blue Eyes for nswrl.com.au that the Rabbitohs playmaker has been quietly getting on with his job, while other club stars including Penriith Panthers halfback and Manly Warringah Sea Eagles fullback Tom Trbojevic were attracting the limelight.
“Cody was a fair way back when voting went behind closed doors,” Soward said.
“Nathan Cleary was in front and then Tom Trbojevic had that explosion over five or six games.
“Similar to players in the past who have gotten hot towards the back end of the year, Tommy has probably polled three points every single week.
“Cody has probably polled twos and threes, in the great teams we’ve seen like Melbourne where they take votes off each other, there would have been a couple of weeks where Latrell Mitchell took votes off Cody Walker.
“So, Tom Trbojevic right now is in front, but don’t be surprised if Cody Walker makes a late surge.”
Walker has 31 try assists so far, with three rounds to play. Trbojevic has 25 try assists, but has 19 tries to his name compared with Walker’s 12.
Of course, Trboejvic has also played seven games less than Walker following his late start to the season with a hamstring injury and his appearances for the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues during the Ampol State of Origin series. Walker may well have polled votes in the games Trbojevic has missed.
When voting when behind closed doors after Round 12, Nathan Cleary was on 21 points, Trbojevic on 15 and Walker on 8.
‘Turbo’ has been named to play for the Sea Eagles against the Raiders on Friday night despite a hairline fracture on his cheekbone.
“It would be up to Tommy, if he feels good, there’s no reason to be holding him back,” Soward said.
“They (Manly) still need to cement a top-four spot, and there’s the Dally M as well. He needs to bank a few more points…
“If he wants to play then keep it rolling as Manly are one of the hottest teams in the comp.”