Billy Slater has won the NRL’s Dally M Medal as the competition’s player of the year.
Slater won the award, which is voted for by journalists and commentators throughout the year, after coming from behind in the voting to score highly in the final few games of the regular season. This is despite sitting out of Melbourne’s final match against Sydney Roosters.
Slater finished the year on 29 points, which was enough to take the award away from bookies favourite Benji Marshall.
It was also a night to celebrate for the Melbourne Storm, after the club won seven of the awards on offer.
Slater was also awarded Fullback of the Year, while team mate Cooper Cronk was given the Halfback of the Year.
In a triple whammy, Cameron Smith was awarded Hooker of the Year, Rep Player of the Year and Captain of the Year.
Finally Coach of the Year went to Craig Bellamy. It topped off a wonderful night for Melbourne, after the club had all of their points stripped for breaching NRL salary cap regulations last season.
In his speech to collect his award, Bellamy said: “Especially after what happened last year, to build the club back up to where we want to be and where we expect to be was a really big job.
“It was pretty tough last year too I must say. It certainly wasn’t easy. Half our squad came in and to get them to play the way that we want to play, our style, was a big job at the start of the season.”
Manly’s Jamie Lyon won Centre of the Year. Sam Thaiday was awarded Second Row of the Year. Cronulla’s Paul Gallen was Lock of the Year. Matt Scott from North Queensland was given Prop of the Year. Rookie of the Year was given to Manly’s Daly Cherry-Evans, and the Proven Summons Award went to Parramatta’s Nathan Hindmarsh.