SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 06: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves of the Roosters celebrates winning the 2019 NRL Grand Final match between the Canberra Raiders and the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Roosters star Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was left awkwardly standing next to the podium after his side’s grand final win over the Raiders after being told he had won Clive Churchill Medal.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the prop lined up near the presentation stage after being informed by an unknown official that he was going to receive the man-of-the-match award.

However, Canberra’s Jack Wighton was announced as the recipient moments later, with Waerea-Hargreaves reportedly prematurely informed before judge Darren Lockyer’s votes had been tallied.

Waerea-Hargreaves was leading the count when he was told he’d won, but Lockyer’s votes pushed Wighton ahead.

It would’ve marked the first time a New Zealander had won the award, with Sam Burgess the only non-Australian to do so in 2014.

Wighton became the fourth player to claim the Clive Churchill Medal on a losing team, joining Bradley Clyde (1991), St George forward Brad Mackay (1993) and Daly Cherry-Evans (2013).

The Raiders lock expressed his disappointment about the team’s narrow loss during his speech.

“It was a very numb feeling to achieve something so big, it was probably the worst moment of my life, losing a grand final,” Wighton said.

“At the same time I am extremely proud of the boys, I love every single one of them and our actions next year will tell us whether we’re going to back it up. I’m very proud of the boys, it’s just a very weird feeling at the minute.”

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart declared: “The best player on the field got the award tonight.”

“Whether those people out there who booed agree with it or not, Jack didn’t pick it.

“Three legends of our game pick the award and I think they know a little bit more than the wombats sitting behind the goal post.”

7 COMMENTS

  1. Yes it was.
    In a close game Wighton was the best player on the paddock.
    It’s not the first time this has happened.

  2. Anyone who knows anything about footy, knows JWH was the best player on the paddock.

    Yet another case of tall poppy syndrome from the Queenslander Lockyer.
    Before the game kicked off he with turncoat Thurston picked Canberra to win.

    Lockyers biased eyes were concerntrating on Canberra 5/8 to win them the game as their X factor and pull victory out of the fire to snatch his tip Canberra victory, as he identifued him as the only player possible to do it. This obviously obstructed him looking at the game fairly and not noticing the Roosters best.

    Everybody knows Forwards win big games and the Roosters forwards dominated in JWH and Taukeiaho,

    The Question that should be asked Who set the platform up for a Rooster victory? Not who tried hard to save a loss.

    This is the 2nd garbage call against the Premiers of 2019 and 2013.
    This medal is a joke.

  3. Cookem this is why Stuart got a runnerup medalion and nit a premiership ring.
    Roosters do not live in holes in the ground like wombats.
    Now if he came out with that call towards a team like South Rabbits, I could understand that. They live in a hole. Matter of fact most of South Sydney Rabbits is a hole. Thats why they called themselves rabbits.

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