Tedesco announced as shock Player of the Year

Tedesco announced as shock Player of the Year

By Vittorio Travan

In what many experts believed to be a gift wrapped prize for the game’s record holder, the Rugby League Players’ Association awards has night produced a surprising result.

Melbourne Storm Captain and dummy half Cameron Smith was expected to be announced as the candidate for the player of the year.

However, a breakthrough year saw West Tigers fullback James Tedesco crowned with the RLPA top honour.

Tedesco beat out award finalists Cameron Smith, last year’s winner Jason Taumalolo, Nathan Clearly, Tom Trbojevic and Gareth Widdop.

The voting system involved each player after every match voting for the opposing players they viewed as the best in a three-two-one voting system.

Tedesco joins previous winners Jonathan Thurston, Matthew Bowen, Jarryd Hayne and Braith Anasta.

In a season where Tedesco produced 153 tackle busts, the most amongst the league, and averaged 163 metres per game, he described the season as hit and miss.

Talking to AAP, Tedesco said, “It probably wasn’t my greatest [season] to be honest.”

“It was hard in a struggling side at the Tigers but the last two months, for myself and as a team, we were better,” he said.

Tedesco was also named in the RLPA’s team of the year, while Canberra Raiders winger Nick Crotic was announced as the rookie of the year with Cameron Smith named Australian representative player of the year.

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