McCul­lough hailed Bron­cos best in 2017

Dalby Herald - - SPORT - — Rikki-Lee Arnold, The Courier Mail

RUGBY LEAGUE: Bron­cos hooker An­drew McCul­lough’s roller­coaster sea­son ended in stun­ning fash­ion, as he de­fied the odds to be crowned Bris­bane’s Player of the Year de­spite miss­ing the fi­nal five games of the reg­u­lar sea­son.

McCul­lough’s sea­son came to a heart­break­ing end in Round 21, after he tore his ACL and MCL in a clash against Par­ra­matta.

But his ex­cel­lent form in the 18 games he played for Bris­bane be­fore the in­jury was enough for him to claim the Paul Mor­gan Medal at Bris­bane’s Pre­sen­ta­tion Ball.

It was an in­spi­ra­tional ef­fort from McCul­lough, who kept the likes of Alex Glenn, Dar­ius Boyd and Josh McGuire at bay to win the award, which is polled through­out the reg­u­lar sea­son only.

McCul­lough was also named Play­ers’ Player, along­side McGuire.

De­spite the in­jury, it was a ca­reer-best sea­son for the No. 9, who was a guid­ing light for the Bron­cos for the ma­jor­ity of their sea­son.

His workrate in the mid­dle was greatly missed by Bris­bane in the back-end of the year, de­spite the ef­forts of his re­place­ment, Ben Hunt.

McCul­lough av­er­aged 45.2 tack­les a game — the sec­ond high­est in the NRL be­hind Roost­ers rake Jake Friend (47.8).

The award has sal­vaged some­thing from the year for McCul­lough, who had to watch from the side­lines as the Bron­cos fell one game short of the grand fi­nal after be­ing ham­mered by pre­miers Mel­bourne in the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal.

PHOTO: FILE

WIN­NER: In­jured Bron­cos hooker An­drew McCul­lough won the club's Best and Fairest award.

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