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Steph Hancock Player of the Year update: Tweed gun leads the way

Tweed Seagulls lock Olivia Kernick has come bolting out of the gates in the race for this year’s Steph Hancock BMD Premiership Player of the Year award.

The New South Wales forward, who traditionally plays in the back row, has been a welcome addition to the Seagulls side this year, with Tweed currently sitting in third on the competition ladder.

A far cry from last year’s wooden spoon finish, the Seagulls have won three from four, with their only loss so far coming in Round 1 against the Mackay Cutters.

Over the opening four rounds, Kernick has scored two tries, recorded nine offloads and three line breaks, and is averaging 126 run metres a game with 93.6 per cent tackle efficiency.

She now has eight votes for the player of the year accolade.

Tweed co-coach Lambros To'omaga said Kernick has brought a lot to the club, including some crucial leadership skills.

Olivia Kernick. Photo: Jason O'Brien/QRL
Olivia Kernick. Photo: Jason O'Brien/QRL

“Olivia is very professional about everything she does,” To’omaga said.

“She has a lot of energy and her leadership is one of her strongest qualities. We’re very grateful to have her on board.

“We’ve been working hard for the last few years and having the likes of Liv, Tarryn (Aiken), those guys coming across has helped a lot.

“Liv is putting the team first. She’s playing out of position – that’s not her go-to position – and she has a willingness to do whatever it takes for us.

“It’s good to see her playing in that lock position. I had a chat with her around that, about having the ability to make it her own.

“Her running game and organisation… she’s able to ball play, so she has everything that you want for that position.”

Kernick has based herself on the Gold Coast for the duration of the BMD Premiership season but will miss a few weeks over the coming rounds due to a NSW Origin camp.

Sitting behind her on joint second for the Steph Hancock BMD Premiership Player of the Year award is Western Clydesdales playmaker Ali Brigginshaw and Mackay Cutters prop Maddison Heggarty, both on six points.

Kernick’s Tweed teammate Aiken is in third place on five points alongside Norths Devils halfback, Jocelyn Kelleher.

The voting for the Steph Hancock BMD Premiership Player of the Year award will now go behind closed doors.

The standings for the Steph Hancock BMD Premiership Player of the Year following Round 4 are below, with the top 11 players listed.

Steph Hancock BMD Premiership Player of the Year standings after Round 4

Name Team Points
Olivia Kernick Tweed Seagulls 8
Ali Brigginshaw Western Clydesdales 6
Maddison Hegarty Mackay Cutters 6
Tarryn Aiken Tweed Seagulls 5
Jocelyn Kelleher Norths Devils 5
Portia Bourke Norths Devils 4
Harata Butler Brisbane Tigers 4
Kim Hunt Mackay Cutters 4
Emma Manzelmann Mackay Cutters 4
Tara Reinke Western Clydesdales 4
Jesse Southwell Central Queensland Capras 4


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