Five players – one each from the teams involved in the Super League play-offs – have been shortlisted for the 2019 Steve Prescott Man of Steel award.
Warrington’s Blake Austin was leading the way when voting “went dark” after round 22, with Salford’s Jackson Hastings hot on his tail.
Also in contention are St Helens full-back Lachlan Coote, Castleford prop Liam Watts and NRL-bound George Williams of Wigan.
The winner will be announced at the Betfred Super League Awards at the Lowry Theatre, Salford Quays, on October 6.
Ellery Hanley, who heads the panel of judges for the Man of Steel award, said: “The panellists have been lucky to have witnessed first-hand some exceptional performances this season.
“I have often watched games back before awarding points at the matches I’ve been judging and that has helped me appreciate even more the range of skill and determination of so many players.
“The five guys in contention have been pivotal to their team’s success this season and for that they deserve recognition.
“But only one person can win and we look forward to finding out who that is at the Super League Awards next month.”