Cameron Munster has become the first winner of the Cameron Smith Player of the Year Award after being named Melbourne Storm’s best player for 2022 at tonight’s presentation function in front of 500 guests at CIEL the Venue.
Munster polled 33 points to finish six points clear of hooker Harry Grant and repeat his Player of the Year victory from 2018.
Season 2022 is the first time Storm’s best player prize has been named in honour of the NRL’s all- time games record holder, Cameron Smith, who was Melbourne’s Player of the Year a record eight times in his unmatched career. The long-time Storm captain was on hand to present Munster with the 2022 award.
Munster completed the season double by claiming the Redzed Members’ Player of the Year Award. He has also previously been the club’s Rookie of the Year and Best Back of the Year in 2015.
Munster had a superb season in attack for Storm, leading the club in linebreaks (17) and tacklebreaks (117), as well as being joint leader in linebreak assists (15), and second for try assists (16) and offloads (34). He also crossed for 11 tries.
The 28-year-old polled votes consistently throughout the season, taking an eight-point lead at the halfway mark of the competition.
He sealed the award in rounds 20 to 23, picking up 10 votes from the coaching staff and fellow players, including back-to-back man-of-the-match performances against the Gold Coast Titans and Penrith Panthers.
Grant’s season saw him recognised with the Forward of the Year Award for the first time, while Nick Meaney and the 2020/21 winner Ryan Papenhuyzen shared the Back of the Year Award. The two backs finished equal third in the Player of the Year points with 13 apiece.
Tyran Wishart earned the Rookie of the Year Award after showing his versatility across a number of positions in 15 games in his debut season, while Marion Seve received the Most Improved Player Award after playing a career-high 15 matches, all in the starting line-up, in 2022.
Victorian junior product Sua Fa’alogo was rewarded for his outstanding year with the Victorian Thunderbolts and Sunshine Coast Falcons by taking out the Cooper Cronk Feeder Club Player of the Year.
The Try of the Year, voted by Storm’s members and fans, went to Ryan Papenhuyzen for his spectacular flying take of an unexpected Nelson Asofa-Solomona cross kick against the Warriors on Anzac Day.
Tonight’s function also saw Storm officially farewell its departing players led by premiership winners Jesse Bromwich, Kenny Bromwich, Felise Kaufusi and Brandon Smith who will play elsewhere in 2023.
Storm 2022 awards
Cameron Smith Player of the Year Award: Cameron Munster
RedZed Members’ Player of the Year: Cameron Munster
Billy Slater Rookie of the Year: Tyran Wishart
Most Improved Player: Marion Seve
Best Forward of the Year: Harry Grant
Best Back of the Year: Nick Meaney/Ryan Papenhuyzen (tie)
Try of the Year: Ryan Papenhuyzen (Round 7)
Cooper Cronk Feeder Player of the Year Award: Sua Fa’alogo
Greg Brentnall Young Achievers Award: Jared Nauma
Under-21s Darren Bell Medal: Cole Geyer
Michael Moore Award Clubperson of the Year: Daniel Di Pasqua
Chairman’s Award: Aaron Rizzatti
Last 10 winners of Storm Player of the Year Award
2022: Cameron Munster
2021: Jahrome Hughes
2020: Cameron Smith
2019: Dale Finucane
2018: Cameron Munster
2017: Cameron Smith
2016: Jesse Bromwich
2015: Jesse Bromwich
2014: Jesse Bromwich
2013: Cameron Smith