WE all knew the result was a forgone conclusion, but on Monday night the NRL crowned Johanthan Thurston as the best player this season.
Bookmakers such as Sportsbet.com.au had already paid out on the now four-time Dally M winner, but it was finally confirmed that the North Queensland Cowboys co-captain would take home the spoils.
Thurston claimed his unprecedented fourth title by a record margin of 11 points. He finished above a trio in second which included Michael Ennis, Aaron Woods and Ben Hunt.
After winning in 2005, 2007 and sharing the award with NFL’s Jarryd Hayne last year, Thurston was emotional when speaking about what the Dally M Medal means to him.
“I’m a little bit nervous here. I can’t explain what it means to be standing here in front of family, friends and teammates especially. But the first people I’d like to thank are the teammates I train with every day and spend most of my time with,” Thurston said.
“This award is much theirs as it is mine so special thanks to those boys. The coaching staff that has put the structures in place for us to execute, our medical staff, our fans who travel to watch us play.
“[Wife] Samantha, thank you very much for everything you do for me, I can’t thank you enough – you’re my rock.”
Thurston again thanked his teammates which helped him perform to the excellent standard he set this season.
“We play the game for friendships; I get to run around with my best mates week in and week out, when you’re playing at Origin level and for your country as well. It’s about having fun out there, it’s a team game,” he said.
“The boys I have around me, they do all the hard work for me, I put the cream on top. It’s been a heck of a year, I couldn’t be more proud standing up here with my fourth Dally M award.”
The Cowboys are equal $1.92 favourites at Sportsbet to win the NRL final and Thurston is going to envelop what final’s week is all about.
“It’s going to be an enjoyable week, it’s why you play football for to be in the big dance and we’ve given ourselves the opportunity to come up against the form team of the year in the Broncos,” Thurston said.
“It’s going to be a cracker of a night and we’re all looking forward to it. It’s going to be fun.”
2015 Dally M Award winners:
Player of the Year – Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)
Lock of the Year – Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys)
Second-rower of the Year – Josh Jackson (Bulldogs)
Hooker of the Year – Michael Ennis (Sharks)
Prop of the Year – Aaron Woods (Tigers)
Halfback of the Year – Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)
Five-eighth of the Year – Blake Austin (Raiders)
Centre of the Year – James Roberts (Titans)
Winger of the Year – Semi Radradra (Eels)
Fullback of the Year – Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Roosters)
ONLINE bookmaker Sportsbet have done it again by paying out early on Johnathan Thurston for the NRL Dally M Medal.
After paying out early on the AFL Brownlow Medal earlier this year, Sportsbet have refunded over $68,000 on all single bets placed on Game 3 State of Origin star Johnathan Thurston.
According to their website, Sportsbet believed there was no doubt that JT would win the medal.
“With JT [Johnathan Thurston] a short priced $1.50 favourite to win the NRL’s Dally M Medal when voting went behind closed doors after Round 16, we don’t think it’s fair that punters should have to wait around till October to get their hands on their winnings,” their website stated.
Thurston has been in stellar form all year for the North Queensland Cowboys which recorded a record winning streak earlier in the season.
“With his Cowboys riding high in second on the NRL ladder and having torn apart the Blues in the Origin decider last night [Wednesday], Queensland’s laughing legend Johnathan Thurston has taken his game to a new level this season,” Sportsbet added.
The Cowboys are out of action this weekend, but will have plenty of rest ahead of their Round 19 clash against the Manly Sea Eagles on Monday, July 20.
The Cowboys are currently paying $1.80 at Sportsbet.com.au to beat Manly which currently sit in last position on the NRL table.
That price looks like great value and the lovable JT will likely justify his Dally M Medal early payout from Sportsbet.
The early payout is just one of many from Sportsbet over the years and it’s no wonder their customers are always satisfied.
They paid out early on champion racehorse Black Caviar to win the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes. They had suspected it would be its last race so they doubled all winning bets on the great mare.
In 2012, Sally Pearson was looking for Olympic Games redemption after being denied four years prior and Sportsbet were so confident about her chances, they paid out early. The risk of paying out in such a volatile sport was huge, but the bookies had the confidence and Pearson duly obliged by winning.
Also in 2012, Sportsbet paid out early on the NRL wooden spoon, after just four rounds! The Parramatta Eels looked so bad after the first four rounds, they decided to pay out extremely early.
36 percent of the money was the Eels to win the spoon and they ended up paying out more than $50,000 worth of bets.
Sportsbet also paid out early on the AFL wooden spoon when the Gold Coast Suns looked horrendous in 2011.
There was still 20 rounds to go in the competition, but the Suns were the laughing stock of the AFL and Sportsbet took the initiative by paying out early.