‘Every week you ask, how’s he not playing NRL?’
THE Ipswich Jets' inspiring run to the finals has seen their courageous captain Nathaniel Neale take out this year's Intrust Super Cup best and fairest award.
Neale was crowned the Civoniceva medallist after he polled three points in his side's 22-14 win over Norths on Sunday, edging out runner-up Harry Grant by two points.
The win not only sealed Ipswich's place within the top six but guaranteed Neale the medal over the young Sunshine Coast hooker.
Jets co-coach Shane Walker said Neale was more than deserving of the award, given he was consistently one of the best players in the entire competition.
"He plays against guys in NRL teams or systems and consistently outplays the lot of them," Walker said of Neale's weekly form.
"There's not a week where you say, that Broncos forward or that Cowboys forward was better than him.
"But every week you ask, how's he not playing NRL? His fans and peers ask the same question week in and week out.
"He's all actions. He's not reliant on talk or what he says he's going to do. He's just going out there to do it.
"That's what gives the men something to follow. That's what he brings to our team."
Outside of Grant, Neale's biggest competition came in the form of young Northern Pride and Cowboys half Jake Clifford, who took out Rookie of the Year.
Boom Broncos forward David Fifita claimed the Mal Meninga under-18s Player of the Year and Representative Player of the Year, highlighting just how far he's come this season as he prepares to play NRL finals with Brisbane.
Pride mentor Ty Williams took out Coach of the Year for his efforts in getting the Cairns-based team into this year's finals series, while veteran forward Steph Hancock won Women's Representative Player of the Year.
For the minor premiers Redcliffe, Kotoni Staggs took out Centre of the Year while Jamil Hopoate was named Lock of the Year.
2018 QRL AWARDS
Civoniceva Medal: Nathaniel Neale (Ipswich Jets)
Coach of the Year: Ty Williams (Northern Pride)
Rookie of the Year: Jake Clifford (Northern Pride)
Representative Player of the Year: David Fifita (Queensland Under 18s)
Mal Meninga Cup Player of the Year: David Fifita (Souths Logan Magpies)
Women's Representative Player of the Year: Steph Hancock
Club Championship: Norths Devils
Minor Premiership: Redcliffe Dolphins
Leading Points Scorer: Guy Hamilton (Souths Logan Magpies)
Leading Try Scorers: Daniel Ogden (Wynnum Manly Seagulls) and Michael Purcell (Ipswich Jets)
TEAM OF THE YEAR
Fullback: Scott Drinkwater (Easts Tigers)
Winger: Kalifa Faifai-Loa (Townsville Blackhawks)
Centre: Kotoni Staggs (Redcliffe Dolphins)
Five-Eighth: Billy Walters (Easts Tigers)
Halfback: Jake Clifford (Northern Pride)
Prop: Nathaniel Neale (Ipswich Jets)
Hooker: Pat Politoni (Burleigh Bears)
Second Row: Patrick Kaufusi (Easts Tigers)
Lock: Jamil Hopoate (Redcliffe Dolphins)
Coach: Ty Williams (Northern Pride)
Colts Minor Premiership: Townsville Blackhawks
Colts Player of the Year: Shannon Gardiner (Wynnum Manly Seagulls)
QRL Volunteer of the Year: Barry Beswick
QRL Women in League Achievement Award: Mei-Lin Dean
QRL Grassroots Club of the Year: Blackall RLFC