NRL 2 years ago

Hodgson, Papalii named Raiders' best

  • Hodgson, Papalii named Raiders' best

    NEW PLYMOUTH, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 21: Josh Hodgson of the Raiders is congratulated on his try by Josh Papalii during the round 11 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canberra Raiders at Yarrow Stadium on May 21, 2016 in New Plymouth, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Two of the men credited with leading Canberra's charge to the final four, Josh Hodgson and Josh Papalii, have been named the NRL club's best players of 2016.

The pair were announced as joint winners of the hotly-contested Meninga Medal at the Raiders' presentation night on Monday.

Hodgson - also in contention for this year's coveted Dally M Medal - is rated one of the best hookers in the competition and has been a key figure for the Green Machine in just his second season in the NRL.

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Veteran second-rower Papalii has been just as influential and damaging in the middle, leading to a Test recall in May.

It was one of the tightest counts in club history, based on votes from players and football staff, with winger Jordan Rapana and centre Joseph Leilua - dubbed 'Leipana' - tied a close second.

The pair, named joint winners of the coaches' award, have been a force to be reckoned with on the right edge, with Rapana leading the club for linebreaks as well as being the second-highest tryscorer.

Clay Priest was awarded NRL rookie of the year after joining the Raiders full-time midway through the season from the NSW Cup's Mounties, while former chairman and current club patron John McIntyre was presented with life membership.

Canberra play Melbourne in their first preliminary final of the NRL era at AAMI Park on Saturday.

The winner will face either North Queensland or Cronulla in the grand final.

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