Two players who were instrumental in Queensland’s outstanding 2-1 series victory have tonight been presented with the Maroons’ most prestigious awards.
At a relaxed gathering on the Sunshine Coast, skipper Cameron Smith and champion centre Justin Hodges were honoured in front of their Queensland teammates, coaching staff, family and sponsors.
Smith took home the Ron McAuliffe Medal as the Maroons’ Player of the Series, while Hodges was a popular recipient of the Peter Jackson Memorial Medal (outstanding contribution).
The recognition was a fitting reward for the Maroons stalwarts, who both delivered under immense pressure on rugby league’s biggest stage.
For Hodges, the series-deciding 52-6 victory at a sold-out Suncorp Stadium marked the perfect finish to his decorated representative career.
Smith produced a flawless performance out of dummy-half, laying the platform for one of the most satisfying wins of his Origin career.
Long-serving Queensland manager Steve Walters also had the privilege of presenting the Players’ Player awards tonight.
The recipients were Will Chambers (Game I), Corey Parker (Game II) and Johnathan Thurston (Game III).
After presiding over the most dominant era in Origin history, outgoing XXXX Maroons coach Mal Meninga was presented with a commemorative piece titled ’10 Years of Maroon Mateship’.
An emotional Smith made the presentation to the newly-appointed Kangaroos coach on behalf of the Maroons squad and the Queensland Rugby League.
2015 XXXX MAROONS AWARD WINNERS:
Players’ Player –
Game 1: Will Chambers
Game 2: Corey Parker
Game 3: Johnathan Thurston
Ron McAuliffe Medal: Cameron Smith (Maroons’ Player of the Series)
Peter Jackson Memorial Medal: Justin Hodges (Outstanding Contribution)