Thurston deserves Golden Boot, says RTS
Three nominees have been announced for the 2015 Golden Boot award but according to one of only two men capable of denying Johnathan Thurston, they should just give it to the North Queensland captain now.
Rugby League World, which administers the trophy awarded to the man adjudged the best rugby league player on the planet each year, announced this morning Australian time that a shortlist of three – Thurston, Sydney Roosters' Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Leeds' Zak Hardaker – was in the running for it.
With Australia dormant this October and November, an outstanding performance from a New Zealander or Englishman in the current Test series had the potential to at least put pressure on Thurston.
"I didn't even know or realise about the Golden Boot being awarded," Warriors recruit Tuivasa-Sheck told NRL.com
"I think, to be fair, they should just give it to Johnathan Thurston. This has been his year and I'd just give it to him."
Tuivasa-Sheck has been reliable in defence and hard working in attack during the first two Tests of the Anglo-New Zealand series, which will be decided at Wigan's DW Stadium this Saturday.
But the former Sydney Rooster is yet to show his blistering best in this series. After the Tricolours fell short in the NRL this year, it's a target for the 22-year-old to shine in international football.
"I've just got to help Issac Luke control the team," he said. "That's a big thing for me. In my head, I see 'I've got to control the Kiwis'. That's pretty big. I've got to help Issac Luke.
"I sit at the back. I see everything so I'm going to help him."
Despite his tender years, 'RTS' revealed he challenges himself to make a difference in each match he plays. During the finals, he placed himself on a media ban to help achieve that lofty goal.
"I was lucky that our media lady Alex (Phillips) at the time was letting me do that. All I wanted to do was enjoy the moment with the Roosters boys and I think that was my main focus... enjoy the moment and I didn't need any publicity.
"Now, I'm getting hit by a few journalists and it's back to work again, I guess.
"I was pretty disappointed we didn't make it. I set out that I was going to do great things for the club and I was going to bring them this and that and it didn't work out and the team fell short.
"It's a challenge I accepted from that day... from myself. My coach was real supportive. We all wanted the team to do well and I put it on myself to see if I could really get the team up there and it just didn't work at the end of the day."
But Tuivasa-Sheck found closure with the Roosters in the most unlikely of places – Cancun, Mexico.
"I had a trip away with the boys and it was awesome to finish like that. Mexico. A small group of us went and hung out there and said our goodbyes after that and it was good."
From Mexico to New Zealand via Australia, England and France, Roger will have clocked up some air miles by the time he reports for pre-season training at Penrose.
And then there's moving house...
"I think the coach has given me until January so I still have another two months to do all my moving," he smiles. "I'm leaving everything in Sydney, I've pretty much just got clothes and that's it."