Canberra Raiders prop Junior Paulo has taken out the 2017 Meninga Medal, edging out team mates Nick Cotric and Jack Wighton to claim this year’s Raiders player of the year.
Paulo finished the season on 23 votes and secured the win in round 25, where he polled three votes against the Newcastle Knights to take a one vote lead over rookie Nick Cotric. Jack Wighton polled three votes with a man of the match performance in round 26 against the Storm, but it wasn’t enough to run down Paulo or Cotric in the final tally.
Paulo played in 23 matches during the season and polled votes in 10 of those matches, with his consistent strong performances allowing him to take home the top honour. Both Cotric and Wighton also polled votes in 10 matches.
Nick Cotric was awarded for an outstanding debut season in the NRL as he took home the club’s rookie of the year award after playing all 24 matches in his debut season, which was a remarkable achievement at the age of 18.
Elliott Whitehead was awarded the NRL coaches award for his contribution to the team both on and off the field, while retiring veteran Jeff Lima was named Clubman of the year.
NYC star Emre Guler was named the clubs junior representative player of the year for his efforts on representing both the NSW under 20s and Junior Kangaroos, with try scoring machine Mikaele Ravalawa named NYC player of the year and Jarred Tuite NYC Coaches award winner.
Harry Van Dartel was awarded the Career and Education award for his commitment to working towards securing a Bachelor of Education.
2017 Meninga Medal Award Winners
Meninga Medal: Junior Paulo
Meninga Medal Final Tally
23 - Junior Paulo
22 - Nick Cotric
21 – Jack Wighton
16 – Josh Papalii
16 – Jordan Rapana
NRL Rookie of the Year: Nick Cotric
NRL Coaches Award: Elliott Whitehead
Fred Daly Memorial Clubman of the year: Jeff Lima
Gordon McLucas memorial Junior Representative Player of the Year: Emre Guler
Geoff Caldwell Career & Education Award: Harry Van Dartel
NYC Player of the year: Mikaele Ravalawa
NYC Coaches Award: Jarred Tuite