James tipped to continue Titans tradition
Gold Coast Titans forward Ryan James is tipped to continue a tradition of front-rowers winning the Paul Broughton Medal when the Gold Coast Titans hold their annual presentation night on Monday night.
A total of nine awards will be presented to members of the Titans' NRL and NYC squads with two awards to be presented to the Titans touch football male and female players of the year for the first time.
While the halves tend to receive most of the attention during rugby league awards season the honour for the Titans best and fairest has shown a history of going to the big men up front who lay the groundwork.
Luke Bailey and Anthony Laffranchi shared the honour in the club's inaugural season with Bailey winning the Paul Broughton Medal twice more in 2010 and 2011. Nate Myles won the award in 2012, Greg Bird in 2013 while last year Luke Douglas not only won the Titans' major on-field award but also went on to win the NRL's Ken Stephen Medal for his work in the community.
If the tradition is to continue then James would be the obvious choice after an outstanding season in which he played in every game and pushed ever closer to a maiden Origin appearance.
One of the front-runners for the Dally M Medal when voting went behind closed doors after Round 16, James will later this week head to Papua New Guinea to represent the Prime Minister's XIII with Blues coach Laurie Daley last week lauding his performances this season.
But he is not expected to have it all his own way with a large number of Titans contributing to the club's first finals campaign in six years. Having stormed home late in last year's countdown Agnatius Paasi started the year strongly, lock forward Greg Bird had one of his best seasons in a number of years, Chris McQueen and Zeb Taia had some standout games among their consistent contributions while Nene Macdonald caught fire in the middle part of the year.
The Paul Broughton Medal is voted on by the Titans coaching staff who award 3-2-1 points after each game.
Who knows, perhaps Ash Taylor who would be as close to a sure thing as you could think of to be crowned Titans Rookie of the Year could be judged to be the club's best and fairest in his maiden year in the top grade.
The winner of the Paul Broughton Medal and all other awards will be announced on titans.com.au at 10pm Monday night.
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