SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 02: Kalyn Ponga of the Knights in action during the round 13 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Newcastle Knights at ANZ Stadium on June 2, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

With over 100 players completing NRL.com’s Players’ Poll for 2018 prior to the Origin period, the following lists are representative of the thoughts of those who know the game the best.

After being voted as the best middle forward in Part 2 of the survey, North Queensland’s Jason Taumalolo was also voted as the hardest player to tackle in the NRL. He gathered over half of the votes, with silky fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck coming in second.

Hardest player to tackle:

Jason Taumalolo 52%
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 9%
Andrew Fifita 6%
Kalyn Ponga 5%
Greg Inglis 5%

 

Newcastle’s Kalyn Ponga was voted the best young player in the NRL under the age of 22, following a breakout season with the Knights culminating in his maiden Origin appearance. Nathan Cleary was the only other player to grab more than 10% of the votes.

Best young player:

Kalyn Ponga 46%
Nathan Cleary 23%
Tom Trbojevic 9%
Valentine Holmes 6%
Latrell Mitchell 5%

 

Sydney Roosters enforcer Dylan Napa was selected as the game’s toughest hitter, as he continually places opposing forward packs on the back foot each and every hit up. Englishmen Sam Burgess narrowly edged out James Fisher-Harris for second place.

Hardest hitter:

Dylan Napa 33%
Sam Burgess 15%
James Fisher-Harris 13%
Jack de Belin 11%
Tariq Sims 9%
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The players were also asked if they were happy with the automatic seven-tackle set for 20-metre restarts, with 60.3% of those surveyed agreeing with the rule.

Finally, 35.3% of players would like to continue seeing golden point decide drawn games, while 30.2% would like to play extra time. 24.1% asked for the game to end in a draw, while 10.3% were in favour of a golden try.