As the 2019 Super League reaches its crescendo, we take a look into the top 10 players who have their presence felt over the course of the year.
Blake Austin (Warrington Wolves)
It may not have been ending that Wolves fans would have wanted to their season but the 28-year-old still has proven to be one of the buys of the year.
Fitting in perfectly at the stand off position for Warrington, Austin made his presence felt.
Over the course of the season, we have seen time and time again where the former Canberra man has been able to completely change the entire dynamic of a game.
He tore opposition defences to shreds with his expert game management and playmaking ability.
The elusive halfback had an incredible 18 tries and 11 try assists to his name before the start of the play offs and is one of four candidates for the 2019 Man of Steel.
Jackson Hastings (Salford Red Devils)
Another buy of the year candidate, as Hastings has undoubtedly been the main reason why Salford have been able to secure a playoff spot this year.
The 23-year-old signed a one year deal with the Red Devils before the start of the year and has been the x factor that Ian Watson’s men have so desperately needed.
The former Sydney and Manly halfback has been a truly effective attacking threat for Salford leading the way in try assists and run metres for the entire season.
Liam Watts (Castleford Tigers)
There has been no question that Watts has been a true enforcer for Castleford all season and so much so that he is on the shortlist for the 2019 Man of Steel.
The 29-year-old has shown how difficult he is to stop with the ball in his hand and had the most offloads in the regular season with 62 as well as being a constant factor in defence with over 900 tackles to his name.
Danny Houghton (Hull FC)
The 30-year-old has been the definition of a work horse for Hull FC for some time now.
His toughness at the dummy half position has consistently shown by leading the league in tackles three times out of the last four seasons.
It has been surprising to some that Houghton has not been given his chance at international level.
Though at a position that already has strength in depth with Daryl Clark, James Roby and Josh Hodgson all ahead in the pecking order, we just may never see it.
Ultimately, this is a shame for a player who has performed at such a high level for so many years now.
Tommy Makinson (St Helens)
The 2018 Golden Boot winner has followed on from his England heroics in last year’s test series against New Zealand with another great year on the St. Helens wing.
The 27-year-old possesses a freaky try scoring ability that has seen his name on the scoresheet on several occasions.
He led the league in tries by the start of the playoffs with 23.
The England international continues to be a force for the Saints out on the edge and that can only mean good things with the upcoming GB tour of Australia just around the corner.
Lachlan Coote (St Helens)
The departure of Ben Barba left a relatively large hole at the Saints fullback spot.
The acquisition of Coote, however, has been somewhat of a masterstroke from Justin Holbrook.
The Scottish international has probably been one of the league leader’s best players throughout the season.
He recorded 14 tries and 21 try assists to his name, proving to be one of many valuable assets in the Saints backline that features Regan Grace, Ken Naiqama and Mark Percival among others.
The 29-year-old took over goal kicking duties at the start of the year and he has gone from strength to strength, kicking the second most goals in the regular season with 95.
The Red Vee are still one of the firm favourites to take home Super League glory this year.
If Coote continues to pull the strings and be the force we have seen, you would be a brave man to bet against them.
Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos)
Well, the 2017 Super League champions did not have the best of times this year and even found themselves in a nervy relegation battle with four other teams for the most part, believe it or not.
However, one of the brighter aspects of their seasons has to be the breakout year for Ash Handley following the departure of Ryan Hall to the NRL.
The 23-year-old has looked sharp and dangerous all year for Leeds and is joint second in tries with 22.
Daryl Clark (Warrington Wolves)
In a position that has held a lot of depth for England and now Great Britain once again, Clark has undoubtedly been one of the prime dummy halves.
This is not just in Super League but in the entire sport of rugby league.
Although Canberra’s Josh Hodgson may still holds the keys to a potential starting role with GB, Clark is certainly waiting in the wings more than ready to take his chance.
The 2014 Man of Steel earned his place in the 2019 Super League Dream Team with 7 tries and 19 try assists.
Jonny Lomax (St Helens)
There is no doubt that Austin has done absolute wonders for Warrington throughout the course of this season.
The one thing that has probably let him down has to be an injection of consistency from time to time.
However, the same cannot be said for Lomax, who has undoubtedly been the Saints most consistent performer all season.
So much so that he has been awarded the Albert Goldthorpe Medal for 2019. S
imilar to Austin, Lomax has been one to make things happen for St. Helens offensively.
He showed his ability to score and create opportunities with 16 tries and 21 try assists coming into the playoffs.
George Williams (Wigan Warriors)
The dynamic scrum half may be off to Canberra and the NRL come the end of the season but the 24-year-old has remained as focus as ever and been a true catalyst for Wigan.
On the back of Williams’ form, Wigan has once again found themselves in the hunt for the Super League crown.
The 2019 Man of Steel nominee may be on his way down under but the is certainly making sure he goes out with a bang.
Zak Hardaker (Wigan)
Josh Jones (Salford)
Ken Naiqama (St. Helens)
Konrad Hurrell (Leeds)