Ryan James has crowned his best season since debuting for the Titans in 2010 by winning the prestigious Paul Broughton Medal tonight as the club’s best player for 2016.
James was presented with the award by founding chairman after which it is named, at the gala awards presentation night before almost 400 people at the QT Hotel, Surfers Paradise.
He polled 24 points in voting which was compiled on a 3-2-1 basis each match, six clear of prop/second-rower, Agnatius Paasi, who was second in polling.
James’ victory continued the prop forwards’ dominance of the award, taking the front-rowers’ tally to six medals in 10 years after Luke Bailey (2007, 2010, 2011), Nate Myles (2012) and Luke Douglas last season.
He was one of four players who participated in all of the Titans’ 25 matches in 2016 along with Paasi, Josh Hoffman and Chris McQueen.
“It’s a just reward for his most complete and consistent season in his time at the club,” said head coach Neil Henry. “It was great that Ryan could get a solid pre-season in and then back it up with very consistent week in week out footy, which has been rewarded with this award and selection in the Prime Minister’s XIII this weekend.
“Ryan is developing some real leadership qualities as well and I thought he stood up to the grind of playing up front really well after switching back to second row for most of last season.
“He has really found his niche within the team and has an outstanding workrate for a big man often playing long minutes. He is also a great role model to other players with his preparation for games.”
Next week James could be in the running to become the Titans’ first Dally M Medal winners as he was tied at the top of the leader board when voting went behind closed doors after round 16. He is certainly likely to compete with Melbourne’s Jesse Bromwich for Dally M front-rower of the year title.
The big local forward who broke the all-time record for most tries by a front-rower in a season, had several well-performing allies like Agnatius Paasi who had an explosive start to the season, Zeb Taia and Chris McQueen who (like Paasi) played every match and Greg Bird who was inspirational in his 21 appearances.
Earlier in the night James also won the Supporters Player of the Year award, voted for by thousands of Titans fans online.
Medal voting 2016 (leading players):
24 – Ryan James
18 – Agnatius Paasi
15 – Greg Bird
14 – Zeb Taia
12 – Konrad Hurrell, Nene Macdonald, Ash Taylor
8 – David Mead
7 – Luke Douglas
The other major award winners tonight were:
Members Most Valuable Player: Ryan James
Rookie of the Year: Ash Taylor
Try of the Year Award: Ash Taylor (round 3 v Wests Tigers)
Coach’s Award (NRL): Zeb Taia
Community Award: Darren Robb
NYC Player of the Year: Max King
NYC True Titan Award: Josh Rogers
The Preston Award: Matt Srama and Kane Elgey
Previous Paul Broughton medal winners are:
2015: Luke Douglas
2014: Beau Falloon
2013: Greg Bird
2012: Nate Myles
2011: Luke Bailey
2010: Luke Bailey
2009: Nathan Friend
2008: Preston Campbell
2007: Luke Bailey/Anthony Laffranchi (joint winners)