Shaun Johnson may have been dudded out of the Dally M Medal by an inherently flawed system, but the veteran halfback has taken out the 2023 Kingz Container Crew TWL Player of the Year award, based on our weekly KCC-sponsored player ratings.
Johnson finished a clear winner ahead of Addin Fonua-Blake, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Tohu Harris in the points race.
Fashioned on now-defunct Rugby League Week‘s system of giving every player a rating out of 10 for every game – which Will Evans has been dishing out for each Warriors game since the start of 2018 – the TWL POTY gong goes to Warriors player with the most accumulated points at the end of the season (including finals matches). To give players that miss a few games with injury an opportunity to still vie for the honour, we’ve eliminated every player’s three lowest scores at the end of year (including matches missed).
Here’s how the leaderboard finished up.
KINGZ CONTAINER CREW 2023 TWL PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD FINAL LEADERBOARD
190.5 – Shaun Johnson
185 – Addin Fonua-Blake
175.5 – Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
175 – Tohu Harris
165.5 – Dylan Walker
161 – Jackson Ford
160.5 – Marcelo Montoya
157 – Wayde Egan
153 – Adam Pompey
152.5 – Josh Curran
148.5 – Marata Niukore
147 – Bayley Sironen
145 – Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
124 – Bunty Afoa
Adam Pompey and Marcelo Montoya played ever game in 2023, Addin Fonua-Blake missed only one match and Shaun Johnson two. Every other player was absent for at least three matches, meaning they used up their three lowest deducted scores on games they spent on the sidelines. With that in mind, the player ratings averages are a more accurate indication of how each Warrior performed across the campaign.
Johnson finished well in front on that score, too, setting a new TWL POTY season record for highest average.
KINGZ CONTAINER CREW 2023 TWL PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD – HIGHEST AVERAGE SCORES (minimum 5 games)
7.84 – Shaun Johnson
7.63 – Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
7.61 – Tohu Harris
7.58 – Addin Fonua-Blake
7.36 – Mitch Barnett
7.25 – Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
7.13 – Wayde Egan
6.90 – Dylan Walker
6.90 – Jazz Tevaga
6.75 – Marata Niukore
6.72 – Ed Kosi
6.71 – Jackson Ford
6.70 – Taine Tuaupiki
6.63 – Josh Curran
6.63 – Luke Metcalf
Here’s a few more odds and ends to come out of the 2023 Kingz Container Crew Player Ratings:
- The all-time highest rating prior to this season was Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s 9.5 for his superhuman display in the Warriors’ amazing comeback in Canberra in early-2021; Johnson, Nicoll-Klokstad and Harris were all awarded 9.5 ratings for their performances in the semi-final against Newcastle.
- Eight other match ratings of ‘9’ were handed out this season: Wayde Egan in Round 1 against Newcastle; Shaun Johnson in Round 5 against Cronulla, Round 17 against St George Illawarra, and Round 20 against the Sharks; Addin Fonua-Blake in Round 17 against the Dragons; Dallin Watene-Zelezniak against the Saints in Round 17 and against Manly in Round 25; and Jazz Tevaga against the Sharks in Round 5.
- Tuivasa-Sheck averaged 7.61 when he won the inaugural TWL award in 2018 and a record 7.78 in going back-to-back in 2019, while Harris averaged 7.55 per game in 2020. Johnson set a new high watermark with his 2023 average, while CNK averaged better than RTS did in his Dally M season.
- At the other end of the 2023 scale, Bailey Sironen (5.88), Bunty Afoa (5.90), Freddy Lussick (6.00), Rocco Berry (6.13), Tom Ale (6.16), Adam Pompey (6.19) and Viliame Vailea (6.20) had the lowest average scores (minimum five games) – though in the case of Sironen, Afoa, Lussick and Ale, their modest scores have predominantly been due to limited minutes.
- SJ joined RTS (2018 and 2019) and Tohu (2020) in pairing the Simon Mannering Medal as the club’s official player of the year with the TWL POTY gong.