Trai scores awards night hat-trick

Published 5:00pm 12 October 2022

Trai scores awards night hat-trick
Words by Nick Crockford

Trai Fuller collected three more major awards from an outstanding season at Redcliffe Dolphins’ Peter Leis Medal Awards Night.

The HostPlus Cup full-back received Try of the Year, the Tony Obst Award Players’ Player and the prestigious Peter Leis Medal itself.

Fuller polled 53 points - from three judges each awarding 3-2-1 points each game - to pip Jeremiah Simbiken by one point, with Lachlan Timm third on 35 points.

“I’m over the moon,” Fuller said, with the Peter Leis Medal round his neck, “I’m grateful for being named today.

“I’ve been here for a few years now. I really enjoy my footy and playing with the boys. It’s very professional here.”

It was the third successive year Fuller had won the players’ player award and follows 15 tries and 12 assists in 20 HostPlus Cup matches last season.

Gallery of award winners

Train and trial

The citation said he “plays each game fearlessly” - an approach which has earned the 25-year-old a train and trial contract with Dolphins’ new NRL squad.

Team-mates Cody Hunter and Setu Tu also have train and trial contracts, while Simbinken will be a Dolphins’ Development player.

Ed Burns took the Don McLennan Trophy - Best Performance in a Grand Final HostPlus Cup for his display in the 16-10 defeat by defending premiers Norths.

“This guy never ceases to amaze me and what he’s achieved in his young life,” Dolphins' coach Scott Murray said of a player who is studying to be a doctor.

Murray also reflected on Dolphins’ slow start (1 win from the first six games), revival (10 wins, 2 draws from the next 12), top four finish and grand final defeat.

“It was a fantastic season, incredibly rewarding,” he said, “a lot of hard work went into it – we started on this journey last November and finished two weeks ago.

“We never panicked (during the early rounds). We felt we were learning about each other and our style of play. We identified areas on the field we needed to be better at.”

Socials picture special

Dolphins' first

Cody Hunter, the first local junior in Dolphins’ NRL train-on squad, won the Ian Pearce Memorial Award - Highest Point Scorer of the Year with 174 points (11 tries, 65 conversions).

In a tough competition, the Hit of the Year Award went to Sam Elara, who made his Queensland Cup debut for Dolphins last year.

Colts Coach Ben Te'o paid tribute to his side, which also lost a grand final, saying: “I understand what they went through. To be there, they can take some real good lessons," he said.

“I tried to give them as much knowledge as I could. We had a really good year. The guys who are here are warriors.”

Will Cahill, who joined Dolphins at 14 and suffered a punctured lung in 2021, recovered to win the Dick “Tosser” Turner Memorial Trophy for Colt of the Year Best Local Junior.

Levi Wilson took the Colts Award - Best Forward, being described as “tough as nails, played with an injury in the back end of the year, put off surgery and played real big games”.

Salute to supporters