This season has seen some very strange decisions when it comes to handing out man of the match awards.
I see a lot of people on Twitter who bet on man of the match awards blowing up over players that have dominated the game being overlooked for others who are bigger names. It happens all the time!
I don’t bet on subjective things in Rugby League such as man of the match awards or even meters run any more. I think that any bet you place that relies on a human to make a decision on who was the best player on the ground or how many meters a player ran for is just flawed. Its asking to be screwed over, not by the betting companies, but by the people that ultimately make the decisions.
It has all got me thinking, if the Sydney Roosters win Sunday nights Grand Final, is the Clive Churchill Medal Sonny Bill Williams to lose?
In the Roosters dominant semi finals victory over the Newcastle Knights Aidan Guerra was outstanding! He caused the Knights trouble all night with his damaging runs and offloads. He was clearly the man of the match. It simply could not be disputed.
Of course, he didn’t win the man of the match award. Sonny Bill Williams did!
We have seen some dodgy Clive Churchill Medalists named over the years. Four in particular stand out for me…
The first was back in 1991 when the Penrith Panthers beat the Canberra Raiders. It is the only time a player from the losing side has won the Clive Churchill Medal. Go back and watch that game again and tell me if Bradley Clyde was the most dominant player in that game.
The second came in 1993 when the Brisbane Broncos beat the St George Dragons. Brad Mackay was awarded the Clive Churchill medal in a losing side despite the Broncos outclassing them on the day.
The third was in 1999 when the Melbourne Storm beat the St George/Illawarra Dragons. On that day Tawera Nikau unbelievable. He was a monster! Nikau played the game of his career that day and yet the selectors gave the Clive Churchill Medal to Brett Kimmorley!
The last one that standa out for me was just a couple of years later in the 2001 Grand Final when the Newcastle Knights beat the Parramatta Eels. In that game Ben Kennedy was outstanding yet they ended up handing the Clive Churchil Medal to Andrew Johns.
Over the years there have been similar decisions that make you wonder whether selectors lean towards having the Clive Churchil Medal to a big name player. If that happens this season, who do you reckon would be able to beat Sonny Bill Williams to the honour?
Bradley Clyde and Brad Mackay might even have some company if the Roosters lose….
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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