Awards for St George Illawarra Dragons and Cronulla Sharks captains Gareth Widdop and Paul Gallen at 2017 Dally M Medal

Class above: Dragons captain Gareth Widdop had a 2017 to remember. Picture: Chris Lane
Class above: Dragons captain Gareth Widdop had a 2017 to remember. Picture: Chris Lane

Cronulla and St George Illawarra captains Paul Gallen and Gareth Widdop have received individual honours at the Dally M Medal awards.

Melbourne captain Cameron Smith won his second Dally M Medal at The Star in Sydney on Wednesday night, 11 years after his first. Smith will lead the Storm against North Queensland in the grand final on Sunday and won the prestigious medal by eight points from Cowboys halfback Michael Morgan.

Widdop finished a further point back in third, with Gallen and Roosters five-eighth Luke Keary another point behind in equal fourth.

Earlier in the night, Widdop and Gallen earned places in the team of the year for their outstanding 2017 campaigns.

Widdop, who was named five-eighth of the year, was the form player of the competition in the opening three months of the season to lead St George Illawarra to the top of the table before suffering a knee injury.

The England international, who signed a four-year contract extension with the Dragons in April, returned to help the Dragons push for a top eight spot, only to fall short on the final day of the regular season. 

The award capped a strong personal campaign for Widdop, who was also named the Rugby League Players’ Association five-eighth of the year and won the Dragons’ player of the year award.

Warhorse: Sharks captain Paul Gallen was at his inspirational best in 2017. Picture: John Veage

Warhorse: Sharks captain Paul Gallen was at his inspirational best in 2017. Picture: John Veage

Gallen was named lock of the year after proving again that age is just a number. 

The 36-year-old became the 29th player to play 300 first grade games and his decision to retire from the representative arena proved a good one, with Gallen playing some of the best football of his career as he led Cronulla’s charge for back to back premierships. 

He ran for more than 4,500 metres, behind only Jason Taumalolo for the season, at an average of a tick over 183 metres per game.

Gallen also won his fifth Monty Porter Medal as Cronulla’s player of the year and has re-signed for next season.

Award Winners:

Dally M Player of the Year: Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm)

Captain of the Year: Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm)

Coach of the Year: Craig Bellamy (Melbourne Storm)

Peter Moore Award for Rookie of the Year: Nick Cotric (Canberra Raiders)

Fullback of the Year: Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm)

Winger of the Year: Jordan Rapana (Canberra Raiders)

Centre of the Year: Dylan Walker (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles)

Five-eighth of the Year: Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra Dragons)

Halfback of the Year: Michael Morgan (North Queensland Cowboys)

Lock of the Year: Paul Gallen (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)

Second-rower of the Year: Matt Gillett (Brisbane Broncos)

Prop of the Year: Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers)

Hooker of the Year: Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm)

Interchange Player of the Year: Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Penrith Panthers)

Tackle of the Year: Nathan Brown (Parramatta Eels)

Try of the Year: Kyle Feldt (North Queensland Cowboys)

Top Point Scorer: Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers)

Top Try Scorer: Suliasi Vunivalu (Melbourne Storm)

Provan Summons People’s Choice Medal: Clinton Gutherson (Parramatta Eels)

Holden Cup Player of the Year: Jake Clifford (North Queensland Cowboys)

Female Player of the Year: Simaima Taufa

Peter Frilingos Headline Moment: Mitchell Pearce (Sydney Roosters)


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