Vodafone Warriors forward Tohu Harris has tonight been named the third winner of the Simon Mannering Medal, breaking captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s three-year reign as the club’s player of the year.
As well as claiming the premier award jointly determined by the coaching staff and players, the 28-year-old Harris was named the players’ player of the year in the Vodafone Warriors’ 26th annual awards screened on Sky Sport tonight.
The twin accolades capped a stellar season for Harris who was last month named in the Dally M NRL team of the year after appearing in all 20 matches of the most challenging campaign in the club’s history.
Switched from the second row to a middle forward’s role, Harris galvanised the Vodafone Warriors as they battled the adversity of being based in Australia for the entire Covid-19 affected season.
At the end of the regular season, he ranked fifth among all players for most post-contact metres (1339) and seventh for most metres gained (3465), an exceptional average of 173 metres a game, the fourth best among all forwards. He was also seventh for most tackles (845) – an average of 42 a game – and 10th for most runs (352).
Tuivasa-Sheck, the team’s other outstanding performer throughout the season, was acknowledged with two awards being named the Vodafone People’s Choice player of the year and the Canterbury of New Zealand clubman of the year.
While the 27-year-old’s statistics were exceptional, his leadership in the face of extreme personal hardship also won hearts throughout the year resulting in him being named the Dally M NRL captain of the year as well as being a finalist for both The Players’ Champion and the Ken Stephen Medal community award.
Across the 20 rounds of the regular season, Tuivasa-Sheck made the most metres (3974) and runs (398) of all players in the competition while he was second for most average metres (221).
He also made more post-contact metres among all backs, finishing seventh overall with 1302 metres while the next best was Penrith winger Josh Mansour in 12th spot with 1220 metres. In tackle breaks Tuivasa-Sheck was fifth with 84.
Taking out the Vodafone NRL rookie of the year was prop Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, who was initially on a train and trial deal before twice being upgraded on a contract that takes him through to the end of the 2022 season.
After representing the Vodafone Warriors at the NRL Nines in Perth and the Indigenous All-Stars in Robina, Taunoa-Brown made his NRL debut as Vodafone Warrior #241 against the Newcastle Knights in the opening round of the season.
Missing just one match, he started 15 games making an average 95 metres and 27 tackles a game.
VODAFONE WARRIORS AWARDS | 2020
Vodafone People’s Choice Award | Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Vodafone NRL Rookie of the Year | Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
Canterbury of NZ Clubman of the Year | Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
NRL Players’ Player of the Year | Tohu Harris
Simon Mannering Medal | Tohu Harris
VODAFONE WARRIORS PLAYER OF THE YEAR | 1995-2020
1995 Tea Ropati
1996 Stephen Kearney
1997 Stacey Jones
1998 Joe Vagana
1999 Jason Death
2000 Robert Mears
2001 Jerry Seuseu
2002 Ali Lauitiiti
2003 Francis Meli
2004 Wairangi Koopu
2005 Ruben Wiki
2006 Steve Price
2007 Steve Price
2008 Simon Mannering
2009 Micheal Luck
2010 Manu Vatuvei
2011 Simon Mannering
2012 Ben Matulino
2013 Simon Mannering
2014 Simon Mannering
2015 Ben Matulino
2016 Simon Mannering
2017 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
2018 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Simon Mannering Medal)
2019 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Simon Mannering Medal)
2020 Tohu Harris (Simon Mannering Medal)
VODAFONE WARRIORS | ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Departing/departed players | Sam Lisone (196), Nathanial Roache (207), Isaiah Papali’i (215), Blake Green (222), Adam Blair (223), Leivaha Pulu (226), Gerard Beale (230), Adam Keighran (231), Lachlan Burr (232), Patrick Herbert (234), Taane Milne (239), King Vuniyayawa (243), Selesitino Ravutaumada.
Vodafone Warriors debuts:
NRL | Jamayne Taunoa-Brown (241), Eliesa Katoa (242), King Vuniyayawa (243), Paul Turner (249), Tom Ale (250).
Vodafone Warriors | Wayde Egan (24), Jack Murchie (244), Poasa Faamausili (245), Jack Hetherington (246), George Jennings (247), Daniel Alvaro (248).
50 NRL games – Lachlan Burr
100 NRL games (all for Warriors) | David Fusitu’a
150 NRL games | Tohu Harris
50 NRL games for Vodafone Warriors | Adam Blair, Blake Green, Peta Hiku, Agnatius Paasi, Isaiah Papali’i.