9 Sep 2009

Hayne wins NRL award

6:01 am on 9 September 2009

The Parramatta back Jarryd Hayne has won the Dally M Medal for the best player in the National Rugby League.

A sensational run of form in the second half of the NRL season helped the Eels star overtake North Queensland's Johnathan Thurston to win the game's most prestigious individual honour by a single point, with St George Illawarra five-eighth Jamie Soward finishing third.

The 21-year-old, who received his award from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the ceremony in Sydney last night was also named at fullback in the team of the year.

He picked up three points in every match between round 19 to 24, as he inspired the Eels run into the finals on the back of seven successive victories.

He is the first Parramatta player since Peter Sterling in 1987 to win the award.

The night also proved to be a highly successful one for the Bulldogs who picked up eight awards, including Kevin Moore being named coach of the year and Jamal Idris rookie of the year.

The Bulldogs also dominated the team of the year award with four players named.

Centre Josh Morris, lock David Stagg, prop Ben Hannant and hooker Michael Ennis were rewarded for a superb season that has seen the Bulldogs go from 2008 wooden spoon winners to minor premier runners-up.

Despite missing out on the main prize, two time winner Thurston and Soward did not finish the night empty handed, picking up the halfback and five-eighth awards.

Anthony Watmough's fine form for Manly helped him pick up the second-row spot with Wests Tigers' bulldozing winger Taniela Tuiaki named best winger after a stellar season that yielded 21 tries.