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Johnson claims second Paul McGregor Medal

Mitch Jennings – Illawarra Mercury

His side fell two points short of the major prize but Thirroul captain Joel Johnson has capped an outstanding individual season with the Butchers by claiming his second Paul McGregor Medal on Friday night.

The Thirroul hooker also earned the Illawarra League’s highest individual award in 2012 – a premiership winning season for the Butchers – as well as the George Grofus Memorial Trophy as best forward.

Johnson claimed that award again in 2013 making Friday night the third time he’s been crowned the league’s premier forward.

Johnson polled strongly over the final two rounds of the competition to beat out workhorse Collegians lock Jarrod Thompson, Dapto veteran Mick Murphy and Berkeley five-eighth Ben White.

It saw former Leeds Rhino White awarded the Frank Smith trophy as competition’s best back to cap a stellar debut season in the Illawarra.

Wests capped a memorable club season with a Club Championship to go with first grade minor and major premierships. With 80 points, Devils Skipper Mitch Porter was leading point-scorer for a second time, despite playing just seven games, after earning the same distinction in 2015.

Dapto winger Josh Bryant won his third straight Jack Royall Trophy as leading try-scorer with 16 four-pointers, while the Canaries’ total of 83 tries was enough to earn the Bob Lowrie Memorial Trophy.

Avondale – and St George Illawarra – flyer Shakiah Tungai was named women’s league Player of the Year. 

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