NRL to consider changing Wally Lewis medal voting system

By Vince Rugari and Matt Encarnacion,

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    The NRL will consider changing the voting mechanism that saw Billy Slater emerge as the shock recipient of the Wally Lewis medal for the best player across the State of Origin series.

    But who polled what will remain a secret, with chief executive Todd Greenberg saying it wouldn’t be “fair” on judges Mal Meninga, Darren Lockyer and Laurie Daley to reveal their votes.

    Slater became the first player to claim the medal from the losing side of an Origin series when he was awarded the honour after Queensland’s game-three win on Wednesday.

    Slater was out injured in the opener but was arguably the Maroons’ best upon his return in game two and again in the final match.

    Meninga, Lockyer and Daley voted on a 4-3-2-1 basis for their best players in each game but it seems the even spread of contributors in the NSW team counted against the series winners.

    Even Greenberg admitted he was “surprised” that Slater emerged triumphant.

    “The way it’s described to me is there was a stand-out performer in one side, being Queensland, which is Billy Slater who collected a number of votes,” Greenberg told reporters on Thursday in Brisbane.

    “And in NSW votes were spread among multiple players who performed well across the series.”

    Asked if the outcome highlighted shortcomings in the system, Greenberg said: “Potentially, yes. Which is why if we have to review it, we’ll have a look at it.

    “If there’s a better system we can look at, we’re always open to it. We review everything at the end of an Origin series, so I’m sure that will be part of it.

    “But what you can’t question is the integrity of the three people making the decision, and you can’t question the capacity they have to judge that themselves as three people who played the game at the highest level.”

    However, Greenberg said the NRL would not disclose their votes.

    “I don’t think it’s fair on them to go back and ask them to disclose who they voted for or how they voted,” he said.

    “I don’t think that happens in any medium that I’ve seen. We don’t do it for the Dally Ms, we don’t do it for other awards, why would we do it for this?”

    Told that full voting details were released by the AFL on grand final day when the Norm Smith medal is awarded, Greenberg said: “That’s their sport; our sport, we don’t do that, we haven’t done it previously and we don’t intend to do it today.”

    NSW coach Brad Fittler suggested Slater may have received the medal in recognition of his achievements in an Origin career dating back 15 years.

    “I can live with him taking away a medal but it was more than for this series,” Fittler said.

    Asked who he thought deserved it, Fittler said: “Tom Trbojevic was pretty outstanding I thought across the three games. He was my pick.”

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (25)

    • Roar Guru

      July 12th 2018 @ 4:18pm
      Con Scortis said | July 12th 2018 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

      What the NRL should do is get all the mums of the players to vote for player of the series, however they’re not allowed to vote for their own son. I am confident that this is the best idea that has ever been mooted on The Roar!

      • July 12th 2018 @ 5:49pm
        Andrew said | July 12th 2018 @ 5:49pm | ! Report

        I’m sure your Mum would agree with you Con. If she was allowed to vote.

    • July 12th 2018 @ 4:38pm
      Buttery said | July 12th 2018 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

      Daley might explain the 4-3-2-1 system, but when you have 2 Queenslanders & 1 NSWelshman there is a perception of bias, surely someone can get the voting right.

      • Roar Guru

        July 12th 2018 @ 9:05pm
        Emcie said | July 12th 2018 @ 9:05pm | ! Report

        Just add another from NSW, problem solved?

        • Roar Guru

          July 13th 2018 @ 8:37am
          The Barry said | July 13th 2018 @ 8:37am | ! Report

          Yeah…pretty simple.

          Maybe add a few more judges and have say five or six from each state.

          The more judges the fewer anomalous results likely.

          It’s not like adding up 12 lots of 1-4 is difficult…🤔

          • Roar Guru

            July 13th 2018 @ 8:56am
            Emcie said | July 13th 2018 @ 8:56am | ! Report

            The only problem is that the more people you add the more the system favours average scores over standout performances, Which seems to be how Slater got the thing in the first place

    • July 12th 2018 @ 8:50pm
      Flyboy said | July 12th 2018 @ 8:50pm | ! Report

      Bias, as in being a Queenslander and listening to the channel 9 commentary the last 15 years? 😉

      • July 15th 2018 @ 8:04am
        Graham said | July 15th 2018 @ 8:04am | ! Report

        Or having the majority of refs and selectors from South of the border

    • July 12th 2018 @ 9:18pm
      DP Schaefer said | July 12th 2018 @ 9:18pm | ! Report

      Another knee jerk reaction to social/tv media?

    • July 12th 2018 @ 11:14pm
      Brian George said | July 12th 2018 @ 11:14pm | ! Report

      Smells like “golden point for Origin” time all over again…

      • July 13th 2018 @ 9:13am
        Nico said | July 13th 2018 @ 9:13am | ! Report

        My thoughts exactly, current rules don’t suit NSW so suddenly they have to be changed

        • July 13th 2018 @ 1:25pm
          Greg said | July 13th 2018 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

          Not really. This was the first time ever that a player from the losing series has got the award. If that’s not strange enough, the player who won it only played in two of the games. To top it off said player happens to be a legend of the game playing his final series.

    • July 13th 2018 @ 7:15am
      Max Danger said | July 13th 2018 @ 7:15am | ! Report

      apparently he won easily according to Lockyer. a close win would have been due to a faulty system. the fact that he won by a mile is due to bias by Mal and Darren

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