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PBM contenders: Is the stage set for a Tino triple crown?

Tino Fa'asuamaleaui will create history on Wednesday should he claim his third-straight Paul Broughton Medal - the first Titans player to ever do so.

Winning back-to-back honours last year after Luke Bailey achieved the same feat in 2010-11, the Gold Coast skipper has once again been touted as the fan favourite to be bestowed the prestigious achievement; although a number of other stars have also put themselves in contention this season.

The new year saw the resurgence of David Fifita and Moeaki Fotuaika - with the pair recalled into the Queensland Maroons team and bounced back with strong seasons.

Chris Randall also took his opportunity with both hands, showing his extreme versatility to play all but three games in his first season at his new club.

Shortlisting eight players who are a genuine chance of taking home the gong, see below for's review of four of the Gold Coast's forwards who are in contention:

Tino Fa'asuamaleaui

By the numbers

Games: 19
Tries: 6
Try assists: 1
Tackle breaks: 52
Line breaks: 6
Most metres in a game: 222 (R4)
Avg. running metres: 168
Avg. tackles per game: 33
Tackle efficiency: 93%

Fa'asuamaleaui is the heart and soul of the Titans, and the natural leader led from the front again in 2023 as captain.

A staple of the Gold Coast forward pack, the 23-year-old just kept going and going, returning from a successful World Cup campaign with the Kangaroos to be one of the leading props in the NRL.

Having already claimed two Paul Broughton Medals in his first two seasons, the skipper will be eyeing off his third in as many years; especially after inking the longest deal in club history to remain a Titan until at least 2033.

The night his extension was announced was his best game of the season against the Sharks, despite being on the wrong end of the scoreline. Returning from suspension, he finished the game with 214 running metres - 76 of those post-contact - along with a try, line break, eight tackle breaks, two offloads and 34 tackles.

The only thing hurting big Tino's chances are the number of games he missed in the season - three for a shoulder charge and a further three due to Origin duty.

David Fifita

By the numbers

Games: 22
Tries: 8
Try assists: 10
Tackle breaks: 130
Line breaks: 10
Most metres in a game: 234 (R11)
Avg. running metres: 145
Avg. tackles per game: 27
Tackle efficiency: 90%

When David Fifita is firing... he is unstoppable, and the powerhouse had some days out this season. Starting the season inking a fresh contract extension, the 23-year-old transformed himself into the ultimate back-rower and played a huge part of Gold Coast's lethal left edge.

Whilst it may have taken him nine rounds to find the line, that was because he was too busy setting them up with 10 try assists for the season - his most across his 106-game career - adding a new string to his already impressive bow given the defensive attention he gets with ball-in-hand.

But despite that, Fifita still finished in the top five across the NRL for tackle breaks with 130 across the season - including a game-high 12 against the Cowboys in Round 22.

His best outings this season were against his former side, especially in Round 17 with Tino rested - the Queensland Origin star scored an important try alongside a line break, try assist. and nine tackle breaks... but it was his defence that was the real showcase that day, making 29 important tackles to clinch an 18-12 win against the Broncos.

Moeaki Fotuaika

By the numbers

Games: 21
Tries: 0
Try assists: 1
Tackle breaks: 46
Line breaks: 0
Most metres in a game: 222 (R8)
Avg. running metres: 153
Avg. tackles per game: 31
Tackle efficiency: 95%

Moe Fotuaika's 2023 season can be wrapped up in one word... consistent. The reliable front rower bounced back from a lacklustre 2022 season to earn an Origin recall and put himself right in the mix to claim his second Paul Broughton Medal.

Continuously taking tough carries and starting sets from the back fence, it was the 23-year-old's attitude and impact in defence that should really be credited. An element in the game that is rarely attributed in stats, Fotuaika was ferocious in the front line, which also showed with an incredible 95 percent efficiency across an average of 31 tackles per match.

Having to pick the best game of the season for the Titans prop is a tough challenge given his consistency, so the honours go to his back-to-back efforts in Rounds 9 and 10. Against Manly, he made over 200 metres and two offloads to help his side defeat the Sea Eagles, before backing it up at Suncorp the following week in Magic Round with a courageous defensive effort - recording a near-perfect 97% tackle efficiency in the win against the Eels.

Chris Randall

By the numbers

Games: 21
Tries: 4
Try assists: 1
Tackle breaks: 33
Line breaks: 8
Most metres in a game: 122 (R19)
Avg. running metres: 51
Avg. tackles per game: 34
Tackle efficiency: 95%

Coming to the Gold Coast to provide dummy-half coverage, Chris Randall proved he was more than just that. Playing all but three games for the Titans in his first season, the versatile utility played in every position across the forward pack, which kept him in the team even when Sam Verrills returned from injury.

The 27-year-old is a tackling machine and defensive workhorse, averaging 34 with an impeccable 95 percent efficiency and notched his 50th NRL appearance in Melbourne along with extending his time at Parkwood until the end of the 2026 season after a stellar start.

His efforts against the Dolphins at home were extraordinary - making 52 tackles and 122 metres; but his best performance was against the Roosters in Round 21. Despite losing the match, he was extraordinary in trying change the momentum and flow of the game, running for 117 metres, making four tackle breaks and 40 tackles.

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.