The Warriors will celebrate their end of season award on Sunday night, and it will be hard work for the judges.

It's a measure of how far the club has come across the 2018 season, that there are multiple contenders for the various gongs.

There is probably a case for an increase in categories, given the superb campaign we have witnessed from the Auckland club.

What about best performance against the odds? Most unexpected result? Biggest hoodoo broken? Even a new, most improved player category would be appropriate, given the number who have soared to greater heights this year.


Usually around this time media and fans are dissecting 'if-onlys' and 'what-might-have-beens', along with the usual post mortems that accompany a failed Warriors campaign.

Not this time.

Instead of trying to find enough worthy contenders for various awards, the biggest headache will be narrowing down the finalists.

Look at Player of the Year.

2017 winner Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is a standout contender, for his consistency, leadership, attacking exploits and some Houdinii acts on defence.

But there are plenty more. What about Shaun Johnson? He's enjoyed his best season in years, displaying a new found maturity, desire and work ethic, to go with his obvious talents.

Tohu Harris has changed the face of the forward pack and the right edge, and hasn't had a single bad game.

Agnatius Paasi has provided leadership and grunt, and helped set a new standard for the front row, while Blake Green has been a revelation, both for his game management, composure and organisation, and also his effect on others, particularly Johnson.


Then there's David Fusitu'a, 22 tries and now one of the best wings in the NRL.

A most improved award would be even more difficult to judge – probably a duel between Jazz Tevaga, Bunty Afoa, Ken Maumalo and James Gavet, while Issac Luke would take the 'biggest transformation' gong.

Mason Lino deserves a special mention, for his unwavering dedication, despite long periods in reserve grade, while Isaiah Papali'i is a lock for rookie of the year.

Adam Blair has brought leadership, energy and aggression, especially on defence, giving the Warriors a fear factor and hard edge that has been missing in previous years.

Simon Mannering should receive Club man award, while the Warriors could do worse than rename the Player of the Year honour in his honour.

The list could go on.

Alex Corvo? Stephen Kearney and his coaching team? CEO Cameron George and his back office staff?

The Warriors' remarkable progress in 2018 was probably summed up by the reaction to Friday's 20-16 win over Canberra.

For many there was some disappointment, as the home side tightened up in the last 10 minutes and couldn't shut the door on the Raiders.

But it was also a hard-earned victory against an in-form team, and as one fan commented, 'winning ugly sure beats losing in style'.