Canberra Raiders forward Josh Papalii has capped off a stunning second half of the season for the Green Machine, by taking home the 2018 Meninga Medal.
Papalii won the award by eight votes, with his nearest rival's fellow forwards Joe Tapine and Elliott Whitehead. It's Papalii's second Meninga Medal, after he was named joint winner with Josh Hodgson in 2016.
It was a slow start to the season for Papalii who found himself dropped to Mounties in the Intrust Super Premiership in round 5, before returning to the Raiders NRL team and putting together a string of top level performances which allowed him to gain selection in the Queensland State of Origin team.
Papalii's performances also led to his re-signing with the club until the end of the 2022 season.
Earlier in the evening Emre Guler was named the clubs rookie of the year, after playing the last three matches of the regular season. Nick Cotric was given the NRL Coaches award, with Michael Oldfield named Clubman of the year.
Joe Tapine was presented with the Career & Education Award, with Jack Murchie named the Junior Representative Player of the year.
2018 Meninga Medal Winners
Meninga Medal – Josh Papalii
Rookie of the Year – Emre Guler
NRL Coaches Award – Nick Cotric
Fred Daly Memorial Clubman of the Year – Michael Oldfield
Geoff Caldwell Memorial Career and Education Award – Joe Tapine
Gordon McLucas Memorial Junior Representative Player of the Year – Jack Murchie
Meninga Medal Top Five Vote Tally
25 – Josh Papalii
17 – Joe Tapine
17 – Elliott Whitehead
13 – Jack WIghton
11 – Nick Cotric
11 – Jordan Rapana