The Toyota Cup Player of the Year will be announced on Dally M Medal Night.
Who will join Ben Hunt (2008), Beau Henry (2009) and Tariq Sims (2010) on the Honour Roll?
Fox Sports commentator Matt Russell details five standouts from this 2011 National Youth Competition. All made the Team of the Year, announced last week.
Tyrone Peachey (Cronulla)
Officially, he wears jumper No.13 but he pops up everywhere and always at the right time. The apprentice carpenter has helped the Sharks build their best Toyota Cup season yet. He appears as a leading light in numerous stats – hit-ups, line-breaks, charge-downs, tackle-breaks and running metres.
Kurt Baptiste (Brisbane)
The Toyota Cup has been blessed by a great batch of hookers in 2011 and Baptiste is one of them. He has made 15 dummy-half line-breaks in 2011 – twice as many as his closest rival. He made his NRL debut against Manly in Round 12 and played four games in the top grade. He does well to juggle an engineering degree with a blossoming league career.
Konrad Hurrell (Warriors)
The centre has made a sensational switch from union to league. He leads the Toyota Cup in line-breaks, tackle-breaks and average metres per game. He’s also fourth in offloads. Repeatedly in 2011, he’s scored a try when he has no right to – 15 in 18 games.
Jack De Belin (St George Illawarra)
The utility forward has led the Dragons 20’s by example in 2011. His tackling and go-forward is a feature, but he’s also scored nine tries in 21 Toyota Cup games. He was rewarded with three NRL games, including a win on debut against Manly in Round 16. Didn’t miss a game all season. His grandfather Fred played with the Kangaroos and as a premiership winner with Balmain.
Omar Slaimankhel (Warriors)
The fullback has a fantastic strike rate, scoring 26 tries in 24 games this season. Two spectacular try-saving tackles in Wollongong recently underlined how he can also get the job done defensively. Studying podiatry after his parents fled Afghanistan for Pakistan and eventually New Zealand.
Pretty neat that 2 of the 5 players mentioned are from our young squad. I personally think that Konrad Hurrell is a shoe in. Not only do I think he deserves it but the Aussie media have also been going batty over him since the day he made his debut. Almost every week there is an article on him.