With the 2021 season almost in the books with the Grand Final set to take place this Sunday at Suncorp Stadium between last year’s finalists Penrith Panthers and the Wayne Bennett-led South Sydney Rabbitohs. The annual end-of-season awards ceremony proceeded this big game with the Dally M medallist announced alongside a host of other awards on the evening.
The team of 2021 was named which included 5 Penrith Panthers, 2 from Manly and Melbourne, and 1 each from Souths, Paramatta, and Brisbane. One of the players included was Manly’s flying winger Reuben Garrick who finished the year with a record-breaking 304 points. Garrick scored 21 tries and made 110 successful kicks at goal. However, there was no place in the team for South’s winger Alex Johnston who took home the Ken Irvine medal for most tries scored with 29.
The main award on the evening went to the outstanding Manly Sea Eagles fullback who looked as good as ever on his return from injury, leading his Manly side to the playoffs. Tom also had a stellar State of Origin campaign helping the NSW side win the 2021 series.
Other awarded winners on the night included coach of the year winner Craig Bellamy who took his Melbourne Storm side to another minor Premiership and the semi-finals of the playoffs only to be beaten by the Panthers in a close game. Sam Walker took home the rookie of the year award for himself and the Sydney Roosters, Walker was not the on Rooster to win an award as superstar fullback James Tedesco also took home the captain of the year award.