SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 07: Cody Walker of the Rabbitohs passes during the round six NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Pepper Stadium on April 7, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Cronk, Thurston, Slater, Johns… Cody Walker? The enigmatic five-eighth is in blistering form this year, and a Dally M medal isn’t as outrageous as you might think.

Walker debuted last year, becoming one of the older debutants going around at 26 years of age. It’s crazy to think a player of Walker’s ability was stranded playing reserve grade for so long.

Playing in the Titan’s Holden Cup side in 2009 and 2010, Walker would join Penrith’s reserve grade team for a season before returning to Queensland with the East Tigers. His impressive form earnt him a short-term contract with Melbourne, a move that nearly saw his debut in 2014.

Craig Bellamy informed Walker midway through the 2014 season that he’d be debuting that week, but a hamstring injury at training cruelly denied Walker a hard-earned debut.

Now at South Sydney, the energetic half has worked his way to becoming one of the form players of the competition.

Already he leads the NRL in try-assists (8), second in linebreaks (7) and second in linebreak assists (7). But despite his impressive stats, not a single person would tip him for the prestigious Dally M medal.

In a side stacked with superstars like Adam Reynolds, Robbie Farah and Sam Burgess, you’d expect Dally M points to be fairly spread throughout the squad. Yet despite the stars, Walker has outshone them all.

His combination with John Sutton has opposition defensive lines second guessing themselves, with Sutton’s ball-playing ability another weapon on the Rabbitohs left edge.

Walker also leads his side in tackle breaks, not exactly a shocking stat when you look at Friday night’s match against Penrith at Pepper Stadium.

The five-eighth broke six tackles, ran for 145 metres, set up his halfback Adam Reynolds, broke the line once as well as scoring a crucial try in a Man of the Match performance. You look at those stats and they’re breathtaking for a man who didn’t debut until he was 26.

Yet still, no one will even put Walker into the Dally M conversation.

If he can continue his blinding form, then he’s going to put himself in the conversation.

Former Rabbitoh Luke Keary leads the Dally M tally, though has failed to register a vote in the Rooster’s last two losses. In contrast, Walker has been strong despite South Sydney’s losses, registering two points in both their loss to the Cowboys as well as their 20-6 defeat to the Rooster.

His pure evasiveness has added a new dimension to South’s attack, and as Mark Gasnier said on Friday night, ‘Cody Walker’s dummy and run is South Sydney’s best play right now’.

So heed this warning, don’t forget about Cody Walker on Dally M night. Don’t let the superstar surnames distract you. Cody Walker may not take home the medal in the October ceremony, but he’ll be in the conversation.

Comments are closed.