Clark is the Man of Steel


Published: Wednesday 8th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Castleford swept the board at the Super League Man of Steel awards in Manchester on Wednesday night, atoning for their near-misses on the pitch in 2014.

The Tigers lost in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley and narrowly missed out on finishing top of the league for the first time in their 88-year history.

However, the club’s best-ever Super League season was recognised at a gala dinner at Old Trafford cricket ground where hooker Daryl Clark was named Steve Prescott Man of Steel and Young Player of the Year while Daryl Powell was named Coach of the Year.

Clark, 21, whose scintillating form has earned him a place in the England squad for the 2014 Four Nations Series, is only the third player in the 37-year history of the Man of Steel awards to claim both individual titles.

Leeds hooker David Ward did the double in the inaugural season of 1977 and Widnes centre Joe Lydon emulated him in 1984.

Clark, who is moving to Warrington in 2015, beat off competition from two former Man of Steel winners, Jamie Peacock (Leeds) and James Roby (St Helens), as well as Warrington’s England prop Chris Hill to scoop the highly-prestigious award, which is given to the player judged to have made the biggest impact on the season.

He was chosen after the results of a poll of every Super League player went in front of a specially-convened five-strong panel featuring a former Man of Steel and representatives from the players’ union and the media.

The award has been renamed in memory of Steve Prescott, one of rugby league’s most respected players who passed away 11 months ago after a long and courageous battle against a rare form of stomach cancer.

Clark got the nod for young player of the year ahead of Wigan centre Dan Sarginson and Leeds stand-off Liam Sutcliffe while Powell topped the poll of his fellow coaches.

Roby received the hit-man award after making 1,054 tackles in Super League this year and Warrington full-back Matty Russell was the top metre maker with 3,546 metres.

Warrington winger Joel Monaghan received a prize for topping the try chart with 28 and St Helens goalkicker Luke Walsh was named top gun after enjoying a success rate of 78.57 per cent with the boot.

Seven players were presented with awards to mark their retirement from Super League with more than 200 appearances.

They were Matt Diskin (Bradford), Jon Clarke (Widnes), Richard Horne (Hull), David Hodgson (Hull KR), Willie Manu (St Helens), Martin Gleeson (Salford) and Francis Meli (Salford).

Widnes were named club of the year and a foundation award went to Warrington while the annual Mike Gregory Spirit of RL Award was presented to Terry Flanagan, the former Oldham and Great Britain forward who has played a leading role in the foundation of the sport’s charity Rugby League Cares.

Published: Wednesday 8th October 2014 by The News Editor

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