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WYNNUM Manlys Jake Granville and Northern Prides Ben Spina are two of the leading contenders for this years Courier Mail Medal, awarded to the best and fairest player in the Intrust Super Cup.

The winner will be announced at a gala dinner next week with this columnist backing Prides 25-year-old back-rower Spina to win.

After 11 rounds, the top five vote getters in the CMM were Granville, Spina, Matt Seamark (Wynnum), Brendon Gibb (Norths) and Mat Pitman (Souths Logan).

Curiously, there were three Souths Logan players in the top 10 vote getters after 11 rounds but only one Pride player.

Four votes separated first and 10th position and it is understood the voting has remained very tight, with this weeks final round of games to decide the winner.

Brendon Gibb is another great bet to win as he is a model of consistency.

Norths have surged in the back end of the season after taking some hidings during the middle third.

Ultimately, the success of the Pride and hard work of Spina should get the bustling forward of prestige league lineage over the line.

Spina completed a pre-season with North Queensland last year and winning the medal could be the push he needs to cement an NRL contract.

Here is the Courier Mail Medal leader board after Round 11:

Jake Granville (Wynnum Manly) 10

Ben Spina (Northern Pride) 9

Matt Seamark (Wynnum Manly) 9

Brendon Gibb (Norths Devils) 8

Mat Pitman (Souths Logan) 7

Ben Cronin (Souths Logan) 7

Justin Otto (Sunshine Coast) 7

Matty Smith (Norths Devils) 6

Josh Damen (Souths Logan) 6

Tim Maccan (Tweed Heads) 6


SPEAKING of the Pride, their rookie fullback Jordan Biondi-Odo is a butchers apprentice who works in the same Innisfail carvery that once housed Billy Slater, Ty Williams and Steve Lacaze.

Ron and Dans Butchery is an Innisfail institution and if the wraps on Biondi-Odo are right they have their fourth NRL player in an apron right now.


THE Redcliffe Dolphins appointment of club legend Troy Lindsay as their new coach is a great move that celebrates in-house promotion.

The temptation is often to go for an established coach but as the Ipswich Jets proved with the appointment of Ben and Shane Walker following the departure of Glenn Lazarus, backing hungry apprentices is a prosperous endeavour.

Lindsay, a prominent club identity and all-time record holder for Queensland/Intrust Super Cup matches, replaces John Dixon who has done a great job since arriving four years ago from Super Leagues Celtic Crusaders.
Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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