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Historic first for Dally M female player of the year award

The NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership has another historic first, with Emma Tonegato and Millie Boyle becoming the first dual winners of the Dally M Female Player of the Year award.

Boyle, the star Brisbane Broncos forward, and Tonegato, the St George Illawarra Dragons fullback who will play in the Grand Final on Sunday against Sydney Roosters at Redcliffe’s Moreton Daily Stadium, were presented the award this evening at the first ever NRLW Awards, held at Brisbane’s Howard Smith Wharves.

In an incredible finish, both Tonegato and Boyle polled three votes in Round Five to overtake Parramatta Eels forward Simaima Taufa.

“Both Emma and Millie have been standouts this season and should be congratulated on this honour, becoming the first ever dual winners of the Dally M Female Player of the Year award – in a season of firsts,” NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said.

“But I need to congratulate all the players this season. The standard of competition has been incredible – there’s been 18% more tries, a 59% increase in lead changes and ratings have grown substantially.

“To be able to celebrate our best female players’ achievements at such a special night, capped by the historic presentation to dual Dally M Female Player of the Year winners, is a fantastic way to build towards not only Sunday’s Grand Final, but an exciting future.”

Gold Coast Titans’ Brittany Breayley-Nati was awarded the Captain of the Year award, following the Titans’ first season in the NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership.

Just three days out from the Grand Final against the team he faced in the 2010 decider as a player, St George Illawarra’s Jamie Soward was awarded Coach of the Year honours – presented by his own coach in 2010, Wayne Bennett.

Adding to an enormously successful night ahead of the Grand Final, Tonegato was presented with the Tackle of the Year award, following her stunning try-saver on Sydney Roosters centre Jess Sergis in Round Five.

Gold Coast Titans forward Shaniah Power was given the Try of the Year award for her effort against Brisbane Broncos in Round Four.

“Congratulations to every winner,” Mr Abdo said. “Tonight, we were given a chance to celebrate the remarkable achievements of our best female athletes.

“They have delivered extraordinary feats in the 2021 Premiership, and I can’t want to see the women’s game continue to grow on the back of these achievements.”

The full list of winners is:

Dally M Female Player of the Year – Emma Tonegato – St George Illawarra Dragons and Millie Boyle – Brisbane Broncos

Captain of the Year – Brittany Breayley-Nati – Gold Coast Titans

Coach of the Year – Jamie Soward – St George Illawarra Dragons

Try of the Year – Shaniah Power – Gold Coast Titans

Tackle of the Year – Emma Tonegato St George Illawarra Dragons

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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