PORTER MEDAL | Graham crowned
He played all 26 matches in 2015, regularly steps in as skipper and is being touted as a potential NSW Origin player in the coming years.
His work down the left hand side gave the Sharks plenty of potency in attack, while his bruising defence had opposition ball-carriers reluctant to run in his direction.
It then come as no surprise that Sharks back-rower Wade Graham was tonight announced as the Monty Porter Medallist as the Pontifex Jewellers Sharks Player of the Year for 2015.
Graham came out top from a field which included Captain Paul Gallen, inspirational hooker Michael Ennis and young gun Valentine Holmes, with the award presented in front of a full house in the auditorium at Sharkies Leagues Club.
Usually someone with plenty to say, Graham was humbled to be honoured with the Porter Medal, praising the influence of club leaders such as Gallen and Luke Lewis in his emotional acceptance speech.
He also spoke of the tough times that had befallen the Sharks in 2014, explaining how it had made the success of 2015 even sweeter.
The Sharks also rewarded a number of other players on the night, with Michael Ennis, in his first year at the club, named the Tommy Bishop Player’s Player.
In adding to what is now likely a crowded mantle piece in the Ennis household, the Sharks hooker also took home the Members Player of the Year and the Sharks Support Community Award.
The tackle, hit and try of the year was revealed, the ‘iron men’, those to have played all 26 games was recognized, while Jack Bird was an unchallenged choice as Rookie of the Year.
The Sharks NYC awards were also presented and the Newtown Jets acknowledged for their partnership in the NSW Cup competition.
In all it was a night to celebrate a season which went into the second weekend of the NRL Finals series and gives Sharks fans hope of further success to follow.
2015 Sharks Presentation Night - Award Winners
Monty Porter Medal and Pontifex Jewellers Player of the Year
Tommy Bishop Player’s Player
Steve Rogers Rookie of the Year
Members Player of the Year
Sharks Support Community Award
Tackle of the Year
Ben Barba on Ben Creagh, round 18 v Dragons
Hit of the Year
Sam Tagataese on James Graham, round 20 v Bulldogs
Try of the Year
Valentine Holmes v Warriors, round 21
NYC Gavin Miller Player of the Year
NYC Greg Pierce Player’s Player
Education Excellence Award
Ricky Leutele – NRL
Brad Deitz – NYC
Iron Man Award (players to have played in all games including NRL, NYC, NSW Cup)
Valentine Holmes (25 NRL, 1NYC)
Brad Deitz (NYC)
Jayden Brailey (NYC)
Saul Houma (NSW Cup)
Andrew Ettingshausen Club Recognition Award