Competition - NRL
Round - Finals Week 2
Teams – Raiders V Panthers
Date – 17th of September 2016 
Venue – GIO Stadium 
Photographer – Cox 
Description –

Five Key Stats

Games | 25
Tries | 7
Running Metres | 3031
Tackles | 568
Try Assists | 8

Best Match of the Season

Preliminary Final | Raiders 12 defeated by Storm 14

Playing on an injured ankle, Papalii was huge for the Raiders in the narrow preliminary final loss to the Storm. Papalii made an equal season-high 31 tackles, ran for 166 metres and offloaded three times in the match.  

Summary

Raiders enforcer Josh Papalii put together one of his best ever seasons in 2016, representing Queensland and Australia and winning the Raiders Meninga Medal alongside Josh Hodgson. 

An uninterrupted pre-season had primed Papalii primed for a big start to the year, and he didn't disappoint, scoring two crucial tries in the Raiders one-point victory over the Roosters in Round Two.

Consistent form saw Papalii win back his Australian jersey - after a two year absence from the international stage - for May's Anzac test against New Zealand. Starting the match in the second row, Papalii was immense for the Kangaroos in their 16-point victory.

Papalii continued to be one of the Raiders best week in, week out, and was deservingly selected in Queensland's Origin team for game one and two. A minor injury ruled Papalii out of game three, but by that stage Queensland had already wrapped up the series. 

Menacing opposition defences alongside his captain, Papalii ran for over 100 metres in 13 of the Raiders last 14 matches.

The year ended in minor disappointment for Papalii, with an ankle injury ruling him out of the Four Nations tour. The enforced rest will only be a good thing, as 2017 is shaping up to be another huge year for the Raiders destructive back-rower.