Zahara Temara with KARI CEO Casey Ralph and Roosters NRLW Coach Adam Hartigan. Photo: Roosters Media

Queensland five-eighth Zahara Temara took a risk to head south to join the Sydney Roosters in the inaugural NRLW competition – and it paid off with the popular squad member winning their Player of the Year award at their presentation evening last night.

The Burleigh Bears premiership-winning player told QRL Media before that competition kicked off that she was “excited and happy to be playing for the Roosters” and had chosen to join the club in an effort to challenge herself and push her career further.

A versatile player – she was initially deployed by coach Adam Hartigan at lock before being moved into her preferred position in the halves where she played a major hand in helping to propel the team to a big win and into the grand final.

While the Roosters – who also feature Queensland skipper Karina Brown and forward Tazmin Gray in their line-up – lost to a red-hot Brisbane Broncos outfit; the teams involved were part of history as the first women to play on NRL grand final day.  

Temara made history again last night as the first recipient of the KARI NRL Women's Premiership Player of the Year award.

The award was voted for at the conclusion of every game by the Roosters NRLW team and coach Adam Hartigan, with votes tallied across four-week competition.

The other major awards from the Roosters awards night saw fullback James Tedesco claim the Jack Gibson Medal; while co- captain Noosa Pirates junior Jake Friend won the James Mathews Award for Clubman of the Year, recognising his extensive contribution both on and off the field throughout the year.

Queensland Under 20 representative Lachlan Lam was named the Jersey Flegg Players Player.