Lockyer: Slater best Origin player by 'quite significant' gap
The gap between official player of the Origin series Billy Slater and the next candidate was "quite significant", according to one of the judges at the centre of the controversy, Darren Lockyer.
Speaking on The Footy Show on Channel 9, Lockyer on Thursday night said he stood by the decision made by himself and fellow judges Mal Meninga and Laurie Daley.
There has been criticism about Slater winning the Wally Lewis Medal ahead of a player from the series-winning NSW 4team due to the fact the retiring Maroons fullback missed Origin I in Melbourne.
"The system is after every game, myself, Laurie and Mal independently give our 4-3-2-1 votes of the game and that decides the man of the match," he said.
"So game one was James Tedesco, game two was Boyd Cordner and last night was Billy Slater.
"Now all the points that were given to all the series were then tallied up and they're given to us at the end of the third game as a guide to then select a man of the series.
"We're not going to disclose everyone's points but the gap between Billy and the next person was quite significant, and we had to make a call that if we were going to give it to Bill.
"But we thought the gap was significant enough to then award the medal to Billy.
"We were sure that that wasn't always going to be popular, particularly below the border but we've got to live by that decision and we'll stand by it."
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg responded to the criticism about Slater winning the medal by saying a potential revamp to the system would be part of the annual review into the Holden State of Origin series.
Lockyer was not against considering a different voting system.
"We want to get to a point where the system is fair and honest, which I think it is now, but can it be done a little bit better, possibly," the Immortal candidate said.
"I think a review by the NRL will be a good thing. There's not a lot of time between after the game to when the ceremony is on. You've got to think pretty quickly.
"But what I think we'll learn from this is that it can be done better. It's a bit of a shame that it's taken the gloss off the game and Billy, but I think it can be done better.
"But at the same time the three of us stand by our decision."