2017 PLAYER REVIEW - Andrew Fifita
When he takes the ball forward with his special combination of athleticism, power and speed, Andrew Fifita might be close to the best big man in the game.
And while teams targeted Fifita as a way of slowing down the Sharks momentum, he still managed to lead the way and have a major impact for his team throughout the year.
Played all three Origin games for NSW and 23 of 25 matches for the Sharks, missing only the two games he was unavailable while on duty with the Blues, with his average of 145 metres per game putting him behind only Paul Gallen when it came to offensive output in 2017.
Surprisingly scored just the one try during the season but his job was to take the Sharks forward and to create field position, time and space for the halves and outside backs and again he was one of the best in the business when it came to that part of the game.
Toured PNG with the Prime Ministers XIII and is likely to be a member of the Australian World Cup squad, meaning 2017 is a long way from over for Fifita.
Season highlight: When considering the Origin series, Fifita’s man-of-the-match performance in game one was the standout in his year, but back in clubland the big front rower had plenty of memorable moments as well. Probably above all others was his effort in the Sharks 44-12 win over the Roosters on the Central Coast, with Fifita’s 20 hit ups, for 166 metres, with three off-loads, in 54 minutes of play, up there with his best of the year. He ran hard, ran straight and dominated the highly-rated Rooster pack in what was the Sharks best win of the 2017 season.
2017 Stats: Andrew Fifita
Games played: 23
Run Metres: 3117
Average run metres: 145.7
Tackle breaks: 47
Off loads: 53
Average tackles: 29.2