Jason Taumalolo has become just the second Kiwi to win the NRL's most prestigious individual accolade.

The North Queensland Cowboys back-rower been named the joint Dally M medallist with Melbourne Storm halfback Cooper Cronk at the competition's awards night in Sydney.

Gary Freeman in 1992 is the only other Kiwi to win the Dally M medal. It's the second time Cronk has won the award.

The countdown went down to the wire.


Taumalolo drew level with Cronk in round 25 however neither got any points in the final round.

"We had a little special moment when it came to the last round. We were asking each other,' Did you play well? What did you do?' Cronk said.

"We couldn't work out whether we gained points or not so we just had a little shake of the hands and said, 'Well I hope we get to share it with you'."

Cronk's prize night continues a superb few days that includes joining the exclusive 300-game club, as well as helping the Storm qualify for Sunday's grand final against Cronulla. He became just the eighth player to win the award on multiple occasions.

Taumalolo was the first forward to wear the medal since Storm skipper Cameron Smith achieved the feat in 2006.

"I'm so proud of the year I've had, but in saying that it's a team sport and I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for everyone else who takes the field with me every weekend," he said.

Melbourne dominated the positional awards, with Cronk (halfback), Smith (hooker) and Jesse Bromwich (prop) taking out three of the nine gongs.

Ricky Stuart took out coach of the year for his role in waking up the sleeping giant in Canberra, leading them to within one game of a decider.

Gold Coast 21-year-old Ash Taylor held off a late push from Penrith teenager Nathan Cleary for rookie of the year, while the Raiders' Jarrod Croker won captain of the year. Kezie Apps took out the Dally M female of the year.


Fullback: James Tedesco (Wests Tigers)
Wing: Josh Mansour (Penrith)
Centre: Joey Leilua (Canberra)
Five-eighth: James Maloney (Cronulla)
Halfback: Cooper Cronk (Melbourne)
Lock: Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland)
Second-rower: Matt Gillett (Brisbane)
Prop: Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne)
Hooker: Cameron Smith (Melbourne)