BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 11: Wally Lewis speaks to Billy Slater of Queensland after presenting him with the Player of the Series medal after game three of the State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Wally Lewis Medal judge Darren Lockyer said the gap between Maroons fullback Billy Slater and the next best Origin player was “quite significant”.

Slater was controversially named man of the Origin series, despite only playing two games and NSW winning the fixture.

But Lockyer has defended the decision made by he and fellow judges Mal Meninga and Laurie Daley, saying it was a clear-cut process.

“The system is after every game, myself, Laurie and Mal independently give our 4-3-2-1 votes of the game and that decides the man of the match,” he told NRL Media.

“So game one was James Tedesco, game two was Boyd Cordner and last night was Billy Slater.

“Now all the points that were given to all the series were then tallied up and they’re given to us at the end of the third game as a guide to then select a man of the series.

“We’re not going to disclose everyone’s points but the gap between Billy and the next person was quite significant, and we had to make a call that if we were going to give it to Bill.

“But we thought the gap was significant enough to then award the medal to Billy.

“We were sure that that wasn’t always going to be popular, particularly below the border but we’ve got to live by that decision and we’ll stand by it.”

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NRL CEO Todd Greenberg also weighed in on Slater’s crowning, saying a revamp of the voting system could be an option as part of the State of Origin’s annual review.

And Lockyer agreed that it may be a good solution.

“We want to get to a point where the system is fair and honest, which I think it is now, but can it be done a little bit better, possibly,” Lockyer said.

“I think a review by the NRL will be a good thing. There’s not a lot of time between after the game to when the ceremony is on. You’ve got to think pretty quickly.

“But what I think we’ll learn from this is that it can be done better. It’s a bit of a shame that it’s taken the gloss off the game and Billy, but I think it can be done better.

“But at the same time the three of us stand by our decision.”





  1. What a crock. Definitely didn’t deserve to win it and was choosen purely based on the emotion of it being the grubs last origin.

    • +1 Holmes should of been the only Queenslander even close to receiving the award as for blues could of gone to De Belin, Tedesco and Cook all played better then slater

  2. What a load of rubbish. Dce was best on park not billy the cheat and the turbos had a better series and played all 3 games classic nrl

  3. Lockie was too busy combing his new hair to watch the game. Still can’t believe Laurie Daley went along with it – QLD did him again!

  4. What a lot of bull guano, in game 3 the best banana bender was DCE, no way Slater deserved the medal, I thought Lockyer had a bit a integrity,now trying to justify the decision makes it worse, why they don’t admit they give to Slater to make all a fairy tale end to his career
    Daley has been nothing short of a puppet to the bananas, he is the one with less integrity

  5. Although I agree that slater did not deserve the award, the system was the reason it happened not the judges. They have revealed that it was a 4-3-3-1 voting and who the winners were.
    this is what I predict happened.
    (g1) 4/Tedesco, 3/Maloney, 2/Trbojevic 1/Cook
    (g2) 4/Cordner, 3/Slater, 2/Cook, 1/Holmes
    (g3) 4/Slater, 3/DCE, 2/Trbojevic 1/Tedesco
    Therefore NSW players were collectively spread out but Slater got Man of The Series.

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