All that was missing was the Benny Hill music.

Footage of Sunday night's grand final aired in Australia has brutally exposed the awkwardness surrounding Kiwi Jared Waerea-Hargreaves' Clive Churchill Medal snub.

In a match that will be remembered for two moments where players were told one thing and then told another, the Roosters forward looked proud as punch after being told he was the best player in his team's 14-8 win against the Raiders.

But his look quickly turned to one of bewilderment when an official informed him there'd been a mistake and he would need to stand down.


The Daily Telegraph revealed an error with a voting app, which had failed to upload the votes of one of the three judges, Darren Lockyer, until just moments before the medal presentation was to blame.

It left Waerea-Hargreaves embarrassed and NRL CEO Todd Greenberg scrambling to inform presenter James Bracey that Canberra's Jack Wighton was the winner.

Mal Meninga, who along with Laurie Daley also voted on the award, said he was unaware of the mix-up when announcing his Kangaroos' team. "From my point of view it's done in a safe and secure way, we do it through an app, and it's all personalised, so I don't know what went on," Meninga said.

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter Beattie said the correct result had been announced.

"There's a process, the process was going on and the person who won was frankly the one who should have won," Beattie said.

Waerea-Hargreaves was stunned when medal was ripped from him in farcical scenes.
Waerea-Hargreaves was stunned when medal was ripped from him in farcical scenes.

"The vote was being counted, there were some people who thought they knew what was going on who didn't, that's the bottom line. When all the votes were counted Jack had won.

"In this game you can't keep a secret, everyone wants to know who it is, everyone gets excited, 'who's going to win the Clive Churchill Medal?' The fact is Jack won.''

Wighton became the fourth player from a losing team to win the award, join Canberra's Bradley Clyde (1991), St George's Brad Mackay (1993) and Manly's Daly Cherry-Evans (2013).