The Newcastle Knights dominated the prestigious Dally M Medal award night in Sydney claiming the men’s and women’s top honours.
Skipper Kalyn Ponga became the third Knights player to claim the game’s highest individual honour, the Dally M Medal, after Immortal Andrew Johns (1998, 1999, 2002) and Danny Buderus (2004).
The Fullback of the Year said he felt privileged to win.
“It’s a pretty crazy feeling standing up here in front of so much talent,
“I had an early season holiday and while I was over there, I decided that I wanted to stop letting people down and start making people proud and I think I came back and did that. What a year,” said Ponga.
Knights NRLW player Tamika Upton won the women’s Dally M Medal after an impressive season where she scored five tries in 10 games, contributed eight try assists and 11 line breaks and helped the side to their first minor premiership.
“This is definitely not an individual award,” Upton said.
“From the moment I stepped foot there I’ve felt supported from the staff and everyone involved and that spreads to my teammates, I’m pretty lucky to be surrounded by the most amazing players and people.
“My family, I know they’re supporting me back home and it’s pretty tough living away but I need to send a shoutout to the Southwell family because having a home away from home is pretty special.”
Knights halfback Jesse Southwell won the NRLW Try of the Year, and Yasmin Clydsdale was named on the NRLW Team of the Year claiming the Second-Row Forward of the Year award.