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Boyle 'honoured' to share Dally M award with Tonegato

Broncos prop Millie Boyle says it's "special" to share the 2021 Dally M medal with Dragons star Emma Tonegato after the pair were named joint winners of the award on Thursday night.

Boyle and Tonegato created NRLW history after the pair earned maximum points in the final round of voting to tie on eight points each on the leaderboard.

It is the first time the medal has been awarded to two players in the women’s game.

For Boyle, who along with Tonegato have returned to rugby league after stints in union in previous years, she said it was an honour to share the stage with the Dragons fullback.

"It's really special, it's such a prestigious medal and has so much history in rugby league," Boyle said.

"To be able to honour that in the women's game and to also be alongside someone of the calibre and strength like Emma Tonegato is amazing.

"She's done so much for her team and helped lead them to the grand final. To be able to stand alongside her and be recognised for this achievement is very special to me."

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Tonegato, 27, has enjoyed a stellar return to rugby league after an eight-year stint in rugby sevens. 

The Dragons fullback has scored four tries in six games along with three try assists, six line break assists, five line breaks and 967 running metres - second behind Boyle.

Tonegato also took out the tackle of the year award after her efforts on Roosters centre Sergis in round five. 

"It's really special coming back, it's a game Millie and I both grew up loving and to see the growth is really awesome and we hope it can keep growing in the future," Tonegato said.

Tonegato puts in a sterling perfomance

Boyle, 22, is the second Broncos player to ever receive the honour after Ali Brigginshaw's achievements in 2020.

The NSW representative averaged 198 metres per game in the middle this season, ranking first in the yardage department and for post-contact with 388 metres overall. 

Boyle produced 116 tackles at a 92.8% efficiency with 14 tackle busts, two offloads and three tries. 

She missed the Broncos’ round four loss to the Titans after a positive COVID-19 test but returned in round five to be part of the side's big win over Parramatta at Suncorp Stadium.

Props combine for a great try

The Dally M medal is awarded on a 3-2-1 voting system. 

Previous winners include Brigginshaw (2020), Jessica Sergis (2019) and Brittany Breayley-Nati (2018).

Prior to the introduction of the NRLW, three Dally M medals were awarded between 2015-2017 to players based on their international performances.

Those winners were Jenni-Sue Hoepper (2015), Kezie Apps (2016) and Simaima Taufa (2017), who all played for the Jillaroos. 

In the other awards for the night, Dragons coach Jamie Soward took out the inaugural coach of the year award.

Soward was presented the award by former Dragons premiership-winning coach Wayne Bennett, whom Soward won the NRL competition alongside in 2010. 

Soward has guided the Dragons to their second NRLW grand final this season, winning five of six games in his maiden campaign in charge.

Titans leader Brittany Breayley-Nati capped a fine return to the NRLW by being crowned the captain of the year.

Her teammate, Titans back-rower Shaniah Power, claimed the try of the year after her amazing individual try against the Broncos in round four.

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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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