GOSFORD, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 21: Damien Cook of the Rabbitohs in action during the round seven NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Canberra Raiders at Central Coast Stadium on April 21, 2018 in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)
The results for NRL.com’s Fans’ Poll are in, and with over 50,000 votes, here are what the fans decided.
South Sydney hooker
Damien Cook has been voted the best player in 2018, after amassing over one-quarter of the votes.
Cook (27.4%) beat out
Valentine Holmes (11.4%), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (10.3%) and Kalyn Ponga (10.2%), with the quartet the only players to receive double figure votes.
The No. 9 was named as the best hooker of the year with 63.9% of the votes compared to
Cameron Smith’s 17.6%, while also taking home the gong for the most improved player, after amassing 34.5% of that vote and beating out Latrell Mitchell in second with 13.5%.
Anthony Seibold has far and away been the best coach of 2018, with 40.8% of fans believes he’s the best in the business.
Craig Bellamy (20.1%) received over 10% of votes alongside Seibold.
Ponga was named the game’s best fullback by the fans in a tight race, with the top five players all separated by just 6.1%.
The 20-year-old finished with 20.3% and held off Holmes (19.5%), Tuivasa-Sheck (17.6%),
James Tedesco (16.3%) and Billy Slater (14.2%).
He was also named the best player under 22, collecting 41.4% of the vote, with 15.9% going to Mitchell.
Ponga was also voted by the fans as the game’s best buy of the year, collecting 40.2% of votes, with Tedesco, Maloney and
Blake Green all polling between 12-13% of votes.
Josh Addo-Carr was named the best winger, collecting 31% of the votes, edging out Kiwi David Fusitu’a with 21.2% of selections.
In arguably the most one-sided poll question, Mitchell cleaned up 59.8% of the votes as the game’s best centre, with
Greg Inglis the next highest vote-getter with 9.3%.
Cameron Munster has been the game’s best five-eighth in 2018, collecting 33.3% of votes, pushing James Maloney to the side on 22.7%.
Nathan Cleary is the game’s best No. 7, with his 21.7% just beating out the retiring Johnathan Thurston with 17.7% of the votes.
Sam Burgess just edged out Jason Taumalolo as the NRL’s best middle forward, collecting 22.3% of the votes compared to the Cowboy’s 21.9%.
Tyson Frizell also won a close vote, with 15.5% of the votes for the game’s best edge forward going to the Dragon, which was just 0.4% more than the votes Tevita Pangai Junior tallied.
Jamayne Isaako was voted the rookie of the year by the fans, as he grabbed 40.5% of the votes, with Bulldogs playmaker Lachlan Lewis coming in second with 17.4%.
Sydney Roosters enforcer Dylan Napa was voted the game’s hardest hitter, collecting 26.2% of the votes, with Burgess (18.8%) and Victor Radley (16.3%) rounding out the top three.