With the NRL regular season now finished and half the teams off on end-of-season trips we thought we'd hand out some awards based on the season to date.
Player of the Year (Cameron Smith)
It is hard to pick one player at this point because one of the contenders could lead their side to a title over the next month. But on regular season form I've gone with Smith. The veteran hooker has been superb every week and probably edges the likes of Daly Cherry-Evans, Jason Taumalolo and Storm teammate Cameron Munster. Clint Gutherson of the Eels was going great guns until he got injured.
Rookie of the Year (Nick Cotric)
Cotric has enjoyed a superb season in a disappointing Raiders side. The teenager has been arguably the Green Machine's best player and hasn't even looked like a young player his first year in top grade. Powerfully built with deceptive pace and sound under the high ball - Cotric looks to be a rep star of the future.
Coach of the Year (Brad Arthur)
Craig Bellamy could win this every year but I guess he gets weighted against expectation. I've gone with Arthur, who has helped turn around the Parramatta Eels in stunning fashion. After enduring the year from hell last season the Eels have been the fairytale story this year and will give the competition a decent shake.
Buy of the Year (Nathan Brown)
It was a tough call between Brown and Dragons recruit Paul Vaughan. The latter missed a bit of time and the former has got better each week. Brown has come from nowhere (Souths) to be a key member of the Eels side - playing big minutes, racking up huge metres and cutting out the ill-discipline that plagued his game in his career so far.
Biggest disappointment (Raiders and Warriors)
Too hard to separate. The Raiders were supposed to be a title contender this year after a top four finish in 2016. From the outset they didn't respect the ball and failed to dominate up front before trying to be up tempo. The Warriors have been a huge disappointment - finishing the year with a club record nine-straight defeats as fans simply lost interest.
Home and Away Award (soap opera love story award)
It was on again and off again all season and is still not totally finalized. The Bulldogs relationship with coach Des Hasler has been hot and cold this year. He was under serious pressure at the start of the year and was on the verge of being sacked before stringing a couple of wins together and earning a new contract. A bad run after that saw them fall out of finals contention but they finished with three straight wins. Who knows whether he returns next year?
The Donald Trump/North Korea Award (most pointless almost war)
Jarryd Hayne's signing created all sorts of hype for the Gold Coast Titans last year but they might have actually been a better team without him. His form in 2017 would certainly suggest so and then when he fell out with coach Neil Henry it destroyed both men's reputations. Henry might be gone but Hayne remains under the microscope next season - neither party won the war.
The Kris Kross Award (Missed the bus moment)
With his team's playoff aspirations on the line NSW and Kangaroos star Josh Dugan missed the team bus to Penrith and was subsequently stood down by coach Paul McGregor. It came a week after missing a flight home from a Brisbane game - this from a guy most famous for slugging Vodka Cruisers on a roof while thumbing his nose at his previous club.
The Metiria Turei/Winston Peters (Over-spent/pay it back award)
The uncertainty around what the exact number the 2018 salary cap will be has seen a number of clubs take a punt and spend over the $9.4m that it appears the cap will be. As a result the likes of the Bulldogs, Panthers, Raiders, Cowboys, Roosters etc may have to offload some talent before the start of next season. It has added a whole lost more intrigue to this year's free agency.
Team of the Year
1. Tom Trbojevic (Sea Eagles)
2. Suliasi Vunivalu (Storm)
3. James Roberts (Broncos)
4. Dylan Walker (Sea Eagles)
5. Josh Addo-Carr (Storm)
6. Cameron Munster (Storm)
7. Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles)
8. Martin Taupau (Sea Eagles)
9. Cameron Smith (Storm)
10. Paul Vaughan (Dragons)
11. Matt Gillett (Broncos)
12. Wade Graham (Sharks)
13. Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys)
Nathan Cleary (Panthers)
Junior Paulo (Raiders)
Nathan Brown (Eels)
Angus Crichton (Rabbitohs)