Lance Todd Trophy winner Lachlan Lam is ‘one of the best players in Super League’, according to his Leigh and his Papua New Guinea team-mate Edwin Ipape.
PNG superstar Lam etched his name into the history books on Saturday as his drop goal in golden point extra-time sealed Leigh’s first Challenge Cup since 1971.
Lam has been one of the standout half-backs in Super League this season, being an ever-present for father Adrian Lam’s side in 2023.
“Lokie is no doubt one of the best players in Super League this year,” Ipape told Love Rugby League after their Cup final triumph.
“He does what he does and he does it week in, week out, consistently.
“He trains well, he trains hard and his leadership in the group is second to none.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Lokie and to play alongside him and to see him doing those things that Lokie does, I’m just proud that he’s one of my countrymen and he’s doing his thing and making the country proud.
“I’m just so proud for him to be crowned man of the match which is thoroughly deserved with the field goal, he deserves that moment.
“When people will talk about this year’s Challenge Cup champions, they’ll talk about Lachlan Lam and his one-pointer, that’s something special and I’m proud for that.”
Adrian Lam, Lachlan Lam and Edwin Ipape flying the flag for Papua New Guinea at Wembley
Ipape said he was bowled over by Leigh’s support in the final, with a third of the town making the trip down to the capital.
And it was even more special for him to see Papua New Guinea flags being waved at Wembley in support of the Kumuls contingent of Lam Snr, Lam Jnr and Ipape.
“Just to run out in the stadium in a different hemisphere of the world and to see your country’s flag being raised by some fans here, it just gives you another boost,” Ipape said.
“You run out there and know you’re not playing for yourself, you play for your family, you play for your tribe, you play for the people of your country and that’s what motivates me.
“If I lose a game or if I don’t play well, I take it really personally like I’ve left my tribesmen or people back home down.
“I think it’s been a pleasure to be a Papua New Guinea player, it’s a blessing to be honest, just to see fans with the flags, it gives you extra motivation, I’m just so proud.”