Clive Churchill Medal winner: NRL.com experts have their say

Which player will be crowned the most valuable player on the NRL Telstra Premiership's biggest stage? Our writers and contributors have their say.

Dan Walsh (NRL.com reporter)
Cameron Munster. His running game has been without peer in 2018 while he also now mature enough to play the long game too. As good a match-winner as you'll find in the competition. 

Michael Chammas (NRL.com chief reporter)
Luke Keary. Having already helped South Sydney to a premiership in 2014, the five-eighth is ready to steal the show with or without Cooper Cronk. He's the key to the Roosters attack. 

Chris Kennedy (NRL.com reporter)
(Submitted his answer before Billy Slater's judiciary hearing.) Can I say Billy Slater? I get the feeling Nick Ghabar may work a grand final week miracle. If he doesn't play I'll take Mr X-Factor Cam Munster to take out the gong. He has been one of the best players of the finals so far and is a big-game performer who can swing a match with one piece of magic.

Margie McDonald (NRL.com senior reporter)
Cameron Munster. Whether he plays at five-eighth or at fullback, it will be a try he sets up, scores himself, or a field goal he kicks.

Brad Walter (NRL.com senior reporter)
Cameron Smith. The Storm captain rarely plays a bad game and the bigger the occasion the better he usually performs.

Craig Wing (former NSW & Australia star)
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. He's been the man for the Roosters in terms of leading their forward pack and he's done a great job. There's no bigger task than the Melbourne Storm who will be gunning for him but he'll stand up to the task.

Jamie Soward (Former Blues five-eighth)
James Tedesco. His meterage, his positioning. If Slater plays and Tedesco can dominate that one-on-one match-up and stop Slater from scoring a try and neutralise where he bobs up on the field, it'll be a huge part of the Roosters' game. Certainly defensively Tedesco has gotten better at that, and when you see the way he moves in and around the ruck in attack, always threatening the defence, I just think he's ready to cap off an amazing 2018 with the Clive Churchill Medal.

Alicia Newton (NRL.com reporter)
Having tipped Melbourne to win, Cameron Munster is going to play a huge role. It would cap another big year for the Australian representative. 

Joel Gould (NRL.com reporter)
Cameron Smith is yet to win the Clive Churchill Medal but that should change on Sunday. The NRL's king of game management will be driven by the prospect of back-to back titles, and you get the sense he will save his best game of the year until last.

Zac Bailey (NRL.com reporter)
Cam Munster. He's one of only a few players in the game who can create something out of nothing and turn the game on its head. He's done it before in the Origin arena and could produce the goods again on Sunday.

Paul Suttor (NRL.com editor)
Luke Keary will step up in the big moment. An underrated player, he has always been a crucial part of the Roosters' attack and he showed last weekend against the Bunnies that he can be the chief organiser when required.

Scott Hazlewood (NRL.com reporter)
If the Storm are to win then Cameron Smith will again have his fingerprints all over the result. What a fitting way it would be for Smith to potentially retire from the game, as he has hinted at, than to lift the trophy once again and top it off with one of the game's highest individual honours. ​

Mary Konstantopoulos (Ladies Who League)
Cameron Munster has had an outstanding season and has not taken a step back, even with the return of Billy Slater. His ball-playing skills are exceptional and he has proven over recent weeks that he is a dependable player in clutch moments.

Peter Jolly (NRL.com reporter)
Cameron Smith. It's the safe option, but the best option. He's the complete player. If he does his role effectively, it will be good enough to get his side over the line. Having said that, Slater could bring an X-Factor for his farewell.

Tanisha Stanton (NRL.com reporter)
Cameron Smith is far from unfamiliar with the pressures that these big games present and is an easy pick of one player who is bound to dominate. This year he proved why he's still one of the best players in the competition leading his side to yet another grand final.  

Katie Brown (NRL.com reporter)
Billy Slater is set for the dream finale to a sensational career after succeeding at the judiciary on Tuesday night and if he plays as well as he did against Cronulla last week he'll be hard to beat for the Clive Churchill Medal.

Andrew Marmont (NRL.com reporter)
Cameron Munster. The Kangaroos five-eighth-in-waiting loves the big stage and he'll want to cap off a remarkable year with another supreme performance.

Dylan Morris (NRL.com reporter)
Cameron Smith will take the Clive Churchill Medal, with 40-plus tackles, an dominant kicking game and the leadership every coach wishes they had on the field in a decider.  

Hayley Byrnes (NRL.com reporter)
James Tedesco. He should have won the Wally Lewis Medal as the best player in the State of Origin series so it will be a case of better late than never if he gets the grand final honours. His recent form at the back for the Chooks has been incredible, picking his moments when to inject himself into the backline. He'll give the Storm defenders nightmares before, during and after the match.

 

 

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