The 2017 season was another wow of a year for Jason Taumalolo, the reigning joint Dally M Medallist.
Not possessing a go-slow button, Taumalolo was once again at his rampaging best across 26 NRL games, where his job in matches was a simple one, but nevertheless executed with maximum effectiveness.
Possessing seemingly limitless energy, Taumalolo emerged as the side’s go-to forward given a Round 2 ACL injury to co-captain Matt Scott.
The 24-year-old took the new responsibility in his stride and continued to lead with his actions en route to 5000-plus running metres in 2017, the first time a forward has reached the mark in NRL history.
Apart from his stellar form, a new side of Taumalolo emerged in 2017 - that of the on-field leader, the Kiwi-born man mountain finding more of a voice this season.
After helping his side to the grand final, Taumalolo quickly turned his attention to the Rugby League World Cup and sensationally declared his allegiance to Tonga for the November tournament.
Average run metres: 206
Average post-contact running metres: 83
Average tackles: 28
Line breaks: 9
Tackle breaks: 128
Off the field: Won his second consecutive Paul Bowman Medal for Cowboys of the year.