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Canberra Raiders forward Josh Papalii has been crowned the hardest working player of the 2019 finals series through the VB Hard Earned index system. 

Papalii edged Melbourne Storm forward Dale Finucane by a point to claim the VB Hard Earned award after stellar performances during the Raiders' push for their first premiership in 25 years.

Papalii did everything possible to swing momentum the Green Machine's way in the decider despite the side's quest falling agonisingly short.

He finished the grand final with 18 carries for 164 metres with two tackle busts, two offloads and 34 tackles at a 100% tackle efficiency rate.

Storm forwards Dale Finucane and Kenny Bromwich, along with Rabbitohs trio Cameron Murray, Damien Cook and Liam Knight finished closely behind Papalii – thanks largely to their additional game played after both sides were forced to play in the second week of the finals.

Finucane churned out massive numbers during the Storm's finals series while producing his first 80-minute performance of the season in the preliminary final against the Roosters.

Murray proved pivotal in the finals for the Bunnies after a lean patch post Origin saw his minutes dip.

His two-try effort against the Sea Eagles helped get the side into the grand final qualifier with a match-winning effort late.

Raiders back-rower John Bateman and premiership-winner Angus Crichton rounded out the top eight.

With no star playmaker or highly-paid outside back in sight, the VB Hard Earned award recognises the true performers of our game.

Based off an index point-scoring system, the players' efforts are calculated with a focus on runs, tackles, offloads, tackle busts, support and decoy plays plus charge downs.

Players will lose points for negative plays including one point for every missed tackle, four points per error or penalty conceded, while a sin-binning will cost them eight points.

Penrith Panthers forward James Fisher-Harris was crowned VB's hardest working player in 2019 over Jake Trbojevic, Aiden Tolman and Ryan Matterson.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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