2018 Ken Catchpole Medal: Who’s in line to win the Shute Shield’s MVP award?

The Ken Catchpole Medal is awarded each year to the Shute Shield’s most valuable player, as voted by first grade referees on a 3-2-1 basis each week.

Named after arguably the greatest Wallabies halfback of all time who passed away late last year, the medal will be awarded tonight at a function in Sydney.

Last year, West Harbour flyhalf Taylor Adams topped the count and received a Super Rugby contract with the Melbourne Rebels at the end of his breakout season.

The Contenders 

Marcus Carbone – Southern Districts

Southern Districts captain Marcus Carbone really can do it all. The No.8 finished the year in the top 10 in tackles, carries, lineouts won and stolen and until late in the season, was the competition’s leading try scorer. Dangerous on both sides of the ball, the lanky Italian had another standout Shute Shield campaign.

Myles Dorrian – Warringah

After returning from the UK to help Warringah break their Shute Shield premiership drought last year, 35-year old Dorrian has proven to be just as valuable this season as Warringah chase back to back titles. Whether he starts or plays from the bench, Dorrian’s experience and poise has been crucial all season.

Will McDonnell – Sydney Uni

12 months ago, Sydney Uni centre Will McDonnell was playing second grade colts and battling a recurring foot injury that threatened to derail a promising rugby career. After impressing coach Rob Taylor over summer, McDonnell has been nothing short of brilliant in his first year of grade rugby and earned a call up to the Waratahs squad that toured Japan earlier this year.

Kelly Meafua – West Harbour

Kelly Meafua was the most dominant player in the competition through the first half of the season but left Australia to take up a contract in France with several rounds remaining. Despite that, the brilliant backrower will still poll highly after leading West Harbour to their most successful season in recent memory. Meafua took more carries and made more metres than any other forward in the competition this year.

Adrian Musico – Parramatta

Things didn’t quite go to plan for Parramatta in 2018 but it wasn’t through a lack of trying from Two Blues captain Adrian Musico. In a losing side, Musico’s work rate was exceptional and his work at the breakdown kept Parramatta in plenty of matches this year.

Other finalists: Gary Bautz (Northern Suburbs), Denny Godinet (Manly), Hugh Roach (Eastwood), Adrian Hall (Manly), Tom Preece (Warringah).

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