NRL 2019: Kiwi Jared Waerea-Hargreaves jilted for Grand Final award

Kiwi enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was incorrectly told he had won Player of the Match, after his Sydney Roosters won the NRL Grand Final in Sydney on Sunday night.

A technical error has been blamed for the confusion over the Clive Churchill Medal presentation, which saw Canberra Raiders five-eighth Jack Wighton awarded the prize, that Waerea-Hargreaves was told - in private - was his.

The Sydney Roosters prop was positioned next to the stage, waiting to be called up, before Wighton's name was read out to collect the award.

On Monday, the NRL went to lengths to insist the right player had won the award, after the Roosters' 14-8 win.

"There was a process, the process was going on, the person who won frankly was the one who should have won," ARL Commission chairman Peter Beattie said.

"The vote was being counted, there were some people, who thought they knew what was going on, who didn't. That's the bottom line.

"When all the votes were counted Jack won. That's it."

Under the NRL's system, Kangaroos selectors Laurie Daley and Darren Lockyer, and coach Mal Meninga each vote on a 3-2-1 basis for the Player of the Match.

Waerea-Hargreaves apparently led the count, when Raiders legends Daley and Meninga entered their votes, but Lockyer was unable to log on to the application.

He then had to deliver his votes verbally to officials and that's when the mix-up occurred.

"We all thought Jared was getting it," Roosters five-eighth Keary said. "I thought Jared, Boyd [Cordner], Toops [Daniel Tupou] or Teddy [James Tedesco] could have won it, but I thought Jack was outstanding."

Wighton was subsequently booed onto the stage by Roosters fans, prompting Raiders coach Ricky Stuart to label them "wombats".


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