How will QLDers fare at the 2018 Dally M Awards?

"And the Dally M Player of the Year for 2018 is... North Queensland's JOHNATHAN THURSTON!"

What a wonderful way that would have been for one rugby league's greatest ever players to close the book on his glittering 17-year NRL career.

But as fate would have it, the only gong JT can seemingly pick up in his farewell season in the NRL is, unfortunately, the wooden spoon.

With just two games left in the minor premiership, which has tossed up some amazing upsets, this year's Dally M Player of the Year is going to go right down to the wire.

It's a similar scenario with the Dally M Coach of the year, although Rockhampton-born Anthony Seibold is widely tipped to cap off a stunning NRL debut season by carrying off its highest individual honour should South Sydney snatch the minor premiership from either Melbourne or the Roosters.

Seibold, who celebrates his 44th birthday three days after the September 30 grand final at ANZ Stadium, has taken the Rabbitohs from 12th last year, with nine wins, to the verge of the club's fifth minor premiership and the first in 30 years (1989).

Queensland could claim the Dally M's two major awards with Seibold and boom Newcastle sensation, Kylan Ponga, taking out the big player-coach double.

When officials closed off Dally M voting to the public after round 12 in June, Ponga was tipped to become the youngest ever winner of the NRL most prestigious player award, introduced in 1980.

Depending on what reports you believe, young Ponga was comfortably ahead of a number of players, headed by Penrith playmaker, James Maloney, and Dragon's match-winning No.6 Gareth Widdop.

In previous years, the public has been able to follow the Dally M voting until round 16 but in a bid to create more interest and intrigue, voting details were locked up from the public eyes after round 12.

Ponga was a firm favourite then and according to my sources he is still favorite, but only slightly.

He leads the League in line breaks (140) 32 more than Tuivasa-Sheck who is the game's best kick returner with 1,141 metres.

South Sydney hooker Damien Cook's 141 darts out of dummy half is easily the most by any player.

Tuivasa-Sheck and Cook have been the big movers in the second half of the season while a few injuries have probably cost Melbourne Storm hooker Cameron Smith the chance of emulating Thurston's back-to-back Dally M seasons in 2014-15.

So as we head into round 24 this week it would appear as if Ponga, Tuivasa-Sheck, and Cook are just one or two good games away from having the Dally M medal hung around their necks.

It could even be another tie for the third time in the past five years.

It remains to be seen if the hamstring injury which sidelined Ponga for several weeks after his stunning Origin debut for Queensland will cost him a precious Dally M medal.

Queensland has a shot at also taking out the big Dally M treble with emerging young Titan, AJ Brimson, considered a dark horse for Rookie of the Year.

The general feeling is Brisbane discovery Jamayne Isaako, who is only one point behind Rooster's star Latrell Mitchell (200) as the NRL's leading point scorer will take out Rookie honours.

Other players who are in contention include Cronulla's Jessie Ramien, who has scored nine tries, and Bulldogs sharp-shooter Rhyse Martin who had a stunning goal-kicking success rate of 93 per cent.

Next month's Dally Ms is shaping as a big night for Queensland, the state which has produced seven winners in the past seven years.