Dally M awards in Sydney tonight
Tuesday 4 September 2012 9:17 AM
Dally M time has arrived with the best of the best being acknowledged at rugby league's annual night of nights in Sydney tonight.
Canterbury-Bankstown fullback Ben Barba seems to be the popular choice to win the premier award – the Dally M Medal – as the game’s player of the year but many of the usual suspects are still in the mix.
When voting went behind closed doors after round 16, Melbourne’s Cooper Cronk led with 19 points followed by Billy Slater, Johnathan Thurston and Matt Bowen on 17 and Ben Barba, Greg Inglis and Peter Wallace on 16.
The best-placed Vodafone Warriors player is prop Ben Matulino, whose outstanding form had him in a share of 12th place on 12 points by the end of the 16th round. Halfback Shaun Johnson is the next best Vodafone Warrior with 10 points.
Also named tonight will be the top players in each position – best fullback, winger, centre, five-eighth, halfback, prop, hooker, second rower and lock – along with the rookie of the year, the captain of the year and the coach of the year.
The Dally M leaderboard after 16 rounds was:
19 Cooper Cronk (Melbourne)
17 Billy Slater (Melbourne), Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland), Matt Bowen (North Queensland)
16 Peter Wallace (Brisbane), Ben Barba (Canterbury-Bankstown), Greg Inglis (South Sydney)
14 Mitchell Pearce (Sydney Roosters)
13 Paul Gallen (Cronulla), Greg Bird (Gold Coast), Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers)
12 BEN MATULINO (VODAFONE WARRIORS), Josh Reynolds (Canterbury-Bankstown), Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers)
11 Todd Carney (Cronulla), Dave Taylor (South Sydney)
10 SHAUN JOHNSON (VODAFONE WARRIORS), Sam Kasiano (Canterbury-Bankstown ), Cameron Smith (Melbourne)
9 Ben Hannant (Brisbane), Luke Walsh (Penrith), James Soward (St George Illawarra)
8 James Graham (Canterbury-Bankstown ), Matt Srama (Gold Coast), Scott Prince (Gold Coast), Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly), Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta)
7 Justin Hodges (Brisbane), Glenn Stewart (Manly), Anthony Watmough (Manly), Danny Buderus (Newcastle), Adam Reynolds (South Sydney)
6 Josh Dugan (Canberra), Jeremy Smith (Cronulla), Jamie Lyon (Manly), Jarrod Mullen (Newcastle), Chris Houston (Newcastle), Nathan Hindmarsh (Parramatta), Brett Morris (St George Illawarra), Ben Hornby (St George Illawarra), Dan Hunt (St George Illawarra), Sam Burgess (South Sydney), Anthony Minichiello (Sydney Roosters)
5 JAMES MALONEY (VODAFONE WARRIORS), Corey Norman (Brisbane), Blake Ferguson(Canberra), Ryan Hoffman (Melbourne), Ray Thompson (North Queensland), Ben Roberts (Parramatta), Tim Grant (Penrith), Trent Merrin (St George Illawarra), Issac Luke (South Sydney), Jared Waerea-Hargeaves (Sydney Roosters)
4 Alex Glenn (Brisbane), Josh McGuire (Brisbane), Jarrod Croker (Canberra), Reece Robinson (Canberra), Jayson Bukuya (Cronulla), Jeff Robson (Cronulla), Nate Myles (Gold Coast), Brett Stewart (Manly), Kade Snowden (Newcastle), Gavin Cooper (North Queensland), Brent Tate (North Queensland), Luke Lewis (Penrith), Travis Burns (Penrith), John Sutton (South Sydney), Beau Ryan (West Tigers)
3 KEVIN LOCKE (VODAFONE WARRIORS), FELETI MATEO (VODAFONE WARRIORS), Andrew McCullough (Brisbane), Josh Hoffman (Brisbane), Shaun Fensom (Canberra), Josh Morris (Canterbury-Bankstown), Krisnan Inu (Canterbury-Bankstown), Colin Best (Cronulla), Chad Townsend (Cronulla), Luke Bailey (Gold Coast), Adam Sezer (Gold Coast), Kieran Foran (Manly), Todd Lowrie (Melbourne), Kevin Proctor (Melbourne), Will Chambers (Melbourne), Wes Naiqama (Newcastle), Darius Boyd (Newcastle), Aaron Payne (North Queensland), Lachlan Coote (Penrith), Mitchell Aubusson (Sydney Roosters), Frank-Paul Nuuausala (Sydney Roosters), Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers)
2 SIMON MANNERING (VODAFONE WARRIORS), Sam Thaiday (Brisbane), Corey Parker (Brisbane), Jack Reed (Brisbane), David Shillington (Canberra), Josh McCrone (Canberra), Isaac de Gois (Cronulla), Wade Graham (Cronulla), Luke Douglas (Gold Coast), Jason King (Manly), Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne), Gareth Widdop (Melbourne), James Tamou (North Queensland), Tariq Sims (North Queensland), Chris Sandow (Parramatta), Tim Mannah (Parramatta), Nigel Plum (Penrith), Sam McKendry (Penrith), Michael Weyman (St George Illawarra), Beau Scott (St George Illawarra), Andrew Everingham (Soth Sydney), Jake Friend (Sydney Roosters), Daniel Mortimer (Sydney Roosters), Liam Fulton (Wests Tigers)
1 JEROME ROPATI (VODAFONE WARRIORS), BILL TUPOU (VODAFONE WARRIORS), Matt Gillett (Brisbane), Jack Wighton (Canberra), Josh Papalii (Canberra), Dene Halatau (Canterbury-Bankstown), Jordan Rankin (Gold Coast), Luke O'Dwyer (Gold Coast), Jamie Buhrer (Manly), Daniel Harrison (Manly), Dane Nielsen (Melbourne), Justin O’Neill (Melbourne), Ryan Hinchcliffe (Melbourne), James McManus (Newcastle), Matt Scott (North Queensland), Kane Linnett (North Queensland), Dallas Johnson (North Queensland), Matt Ryan (Parramatta), Kevin Kingston (Penrith), Joseph Paulo (Parramatta), Kyle Stanley (St George Illawarra), Sam Perrett (Sydney Roosters), Chris Heighington (Wests Tigers), Keith Galloway (Wests Tigers), Matt Utai (Wests Tigers)