Dally M Medal: what, how, trends, odds & predictions
Everything you need to know about the Dally M Medal.
It’s NRL’s most coveted individual accolade – the Dally M Medal is the official award for Player of the Season and Oddschecker has you covered for all the background info you need for this year’s edition.
What is the Dally M?
Named after the legendary Dally Messenger, the award goes to the man judged as the best player across the NRL regular season by accruing the most votes. The defending winner is Warriors superstar fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
How does the voting work?
Each NRL match has an expert assigned to it to cast 3-2-1 votes to what they perceive as the three best performers. A player is allowed to remain eligible even if they serve one suspension, they will, however, receive -3 points for each week they’re banned. If they receive two suspensions in one season, they’re automatically disqualified from contention.
Does the voting go secret?
Yes. After round 12 the voting has gone behind closed doors.
What was the leader board after 12 rounds?
The leading contenders are:
Mitchell Pearce Newcastle Knights 15
Cameron Munster Melbourne Storm 14
Damien Cook South Sydney Rabbitohs 14
Jason Taumalolo North Queensland Cowboys 12
Cameron Smith Melbourne Storm 12
James Tedesco Sydney Roosters 12
Mitchell Moses Parramatta Eels 11
Are there trends for the Dally M winner?
Good news if you’re a key member of your club’s spine – you’re already ahead of the pack. Across the last 17 winners (including 2014 and 2016 where there were ties), 16 have been either fullbacks, five-eighths, halfbacks or hookers. The one exception? The Tongan Tornado himself, Jason Taumalolo. Based on the opening twelve rounds the pattern seems alive and well – just look at that leader board again.
It helps to play for a powerhouse club but it’s not the be-all and end-all – just look at last year’s winner Tuivasa-Sheck, who made history as the first Warrior to ever win the award. Taumalolo remains a serious contender this year even with the Cowboys outside the top eight.
Queenslanders have dominated the Dally M in recent years too – seven of the last ten winners have come from north of the Tweed.
What is our tip?
Staying on the field throughout the Origin period is huge. James Tedesco, for example, will need a run of man-of-the-match performances to recapture ground he’s lost in being rested by club coach Trent Robinson. Mitchell Moses is a darkhorse candidate – the halfback is rocks and diamonds but when he’s on song, he’s the dominant playmaker for a side in finals contention and more likely to pick up maximum points especially being his side’s goalkicker.
Mitchell Pearce is another strong contender however injuries took their toll on the Newcastle halfback shortly after the voting went secret and with how tight the votes will be, any concerns of his endurance will be magnified.
Therefore for us, Cameron Munster is the man to beat. He ticks the box of being a member of a strong club’s spine, he’s capable of spectacular plays to grab judging attention, he’s maintained fitness throughout Origin season and with Melbourne on their way to the Minor Premiership, Munster will look to maintain his impressive form leading into the finals. He does have the slight caveat of having a fellow Dally M contender in teammate Cameron Smith who may take points off him, but Munster is good enough to become the latest Queenslander to pocket the Dally M medal.