The form fullback of the NRL can now class himself as the major custodian in the world at present; the prize awarded each year to the player adjudged best in the world. Aside from his howler pass in the recent Rugby League World Cup final, Slater has been in a class of his own all year. Out pointing all other fullbacks by a major margin.
The award was won by Slater at the annual Rugby League Players’ Association event in Sydney, adding to the swag of awards for the Storm speedster, Slater also took home the RLPA’s representative player of 2008.
The bag of awards won by Slater will sit nicely alongside the Rugby League International Federation’s player of the year award and World Cup player of the competition earlier in November.
The continued accolades from all parts of the globe for should help ease the pain from Slater’s wild pass that helped New Zealand five-eighth Benji Marshall nail a crucial try in the Kiwis’ upset win over the Kangaroos only a week ago.
Sydney Roosters captain and NSW rep Braith Anasta took home the RLPA Players’ Player of 2008, only 12 months after being awarded the NRL’s most overrated player.
Anasta had to share the award with Penrith captain Petero Civoniceva, the Penrith forward remaining a form forward in the NRL after years at the top. This award being voted by fellow players, ensuring extra kudos for the joint winners.
Kiwi and Eels forward Nathan Cayless took home the RLPA’s Kiwi Representative Player of the Year while new kid on the block from Manly David Williams was a standout for Rookie of the 2008 season.
Slater was virtually unstoppable in 2008, defending stoutly and also scoring 14 tries as the Storm continued to be the benchmark throughout 2008, before eventually being outgunned in the Grand Final.
Slater was unlucky not to beat surprise Dally M winner Matt Orford earlier in the year; missing out by only a few points. Helping the Slater cause was impressive form for not only his club but also at state and national levels where he remained a cut above.
Slater was in good company, with other nominees including, rising star Greg Inglis, mercurial Johnathan Thurston, Tigers playmaker Benji Marshall and the best from the UK Super League; the award considered by many to be the highest individual honour in Rugby League.
Judged by 12 rugby league icons, including game writers and former players, consisting of former Queensland icon Wally Lewis, UK standout Garry Schofield, Channel 9 commentator Peter Sterling and former Kiwi captain Hugh McGahan who picked from the games best.
Other winners at the event included Manly’s Jason King being named Dennis Tutty Clubman of the Year, Raiders work-a-holic Alan Tongue nabbing Education and Welfare Player of the Year and Shaun Fensom the NYC (Toyota Cup Player of the Year 2008).
Complete Listing; The 2008Â (RLPA) Rugby League Players Association Awards
Â Â The Players Player ofÂ 2008
Braith Anasta and Petero Civoniceva
Â 2008 Golden Boot
Â Â Rookie of the Year
Â Â New Zealand Player of the Year
Â Â Australian Player of the Year
Â Â Dennis Tutty Clubman of the Year
Â Â NYC Player of the Year
Education Welfare Player of the Year
Education Welfare Officer of the Year