Clive Churchill Medal Preview
The Wolf previews the 2015 Clive Churchill Medal with all the facts and figures punters need to know:
Winners Who Had Played International or Origin Football Prior to Medal
30 from 30
Winners By Position
Fullback: 4 Times (Last: Darius Boyd, 2010)
Wing: 0 Times
Centre: 0 Times
Five-Eighth: 2 (Last: Greg Inglis, 2007)
Halfback: 10 (Last: Johnathan Thurston, 2016)
Prop: 3 (Last: Brent Kite, 2008)
Hooker: 2 (Last: Shaun Berrigan, 2006)
Backrow: 9 (Last: Sam Burgess, 2014)*
Bench: 0 Times
*6 locks, 3 second-rowers
Forwards v Backs
Winners On Losing Team
3: Daly Cherry-Evans (2013), Brad Mackay (1993), Brad Clyde (1991)
2: Fullback, Backrow
1: Five-Eighth, Prop
Players in 2016 Grand Final with Churchill Medal
1: Cooper Cronk (2012)
Two-Time Churchill Medal Winners
1: Brad Clyde (1989 and 1991)
Dally M Medal/Clive Churchill Medal Double
2: Peter Sterling (1986), Johnathan Thurston (2015)
Cameron Munster ($17): Lack of rep footy deters interest.
Suliasi Vunivalu ($51): Wingers don’t win.
Will Chambers ($26): Better centres have missed out – is at least an international.
Cheyse Blair ($81): Craig Bellamy is good but not that good.
Marika Korobiete ($101): Rugby defectors don’t win big awards.
Blake Green ($26): Lacks the pedigree to be a genuine contender.
Cooper Cronk ($6): A definite chance who is flying but his victory in 2012 may have selectors looking elsewhere. Always lifts for Grand Finals though.
Jesse Bromwich ($13): Prop forwards don’t win out of turn but Bromwich is no ordinary bookend and has historically destroyed the Sharks. Big show.
Cameron Smith ($6): One of the few achievements not bestowed upon Smith. Should control the match. The Wolf’s top selection.
Jordan McLean ($51): Doesn’t play enough minutes at this stage of his career.
Kevin Proctor ($21): Does all the small things well but edge backrowers don’t have a great record and he tends to slip under the radar.
Tohu Harris ($26): A definite smokie at big odds for the Storm. Has rep footy under his belt, can score tries, has a standout look and gets through lots of work.
Dale Finucane ($67): His hardness is key to Melbourne but his grunt work goes unnoticed.
Kenny Bromwich, Tim Glasby, Christian Welch and Ben Hampton (all $101): Bench players don’t win this award, particularly Storm role players.
Ben Barba ($13): Form has faded and won’t see many open pastures.
Sosaia Feki ($101): A big no to wingers.
Jack Bird ($23): Has an Origin appearance but won’t see enough of the ball.
Ricky Leutele ($101): The starter least likely to have an impact.
Valentine Holmes ($41): Has plenty of ability but this game won’t suit.
James Maloney ($9): If Cronulla are to win this it will be on the back of a magnificent James Maloney performance. The only real Sharks hope.
Chad Townsend ($21): Not going well enough and his role lacks the scope to win the award.
Andrew Fifita ($11): A wild x-factor with plenty of gamebreaking talent but he is severe unders, particularly with his off-field reputation.
Michael Ennis ($15): Ennis will be central to everything in this but his numbers probably don’t offer enough.
Matt Prior ($34): Prior is too one-dimensional to be any shot.
Luke Lewis ($19): Lewis was immense against the Cowboys but it is hard to see the edge forwards getting many opportunities in this.
Wade Graham ($15): Does everything well but the Sharks prefer to work to the right.
Paul Gallen ($11): Gallen has been the face of the Sharks for a long-time and does a mountain of work so is definitely some show. Does looks unders at $11 though.
Gerard Beale, Chris Heighington, Kurt Capewell and Jayson Bukuya ($101): None of these have any hope.