Update | Man of Steel
With six rounds to go in Betfred Super League, the weekly Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel votes will no longer be published, maintaining an element of mystery before the winner is announced in September.
To reflect the challenges presented due to Covid-19 and mirroring the format of the league table, this year’s winner will again be determined by a points-per-game average.
Where a player has missed a Betfred Super League fixture to represent England or the Combined Nations, this has been accounted for and will not affect their points-per-game average, and in turn their overall position in the table.
Similarly, if a fixture was cancelled with an automatic 24-0 result, this game will not be added to their total games played count as there was no opportunity to earn points in that fixture.
Fixtures missed due to resting, injury or suspension, however, will be tallied in each player’s final total.
The race is on to the win coveted award in 2021 with Sam Tomkins leading the way after 19 rounds.
Tomkins has been an integral part of Catalans Dragons success in 2021 – they have lost just twice all season with the full back picking up Man of Steel points in 10 of Catalans league fixtures. His sensational form also saw him handed the England captaincy in Shaun Wane’s most recent squad that lost narrowly to the Combined Nations All Stars.
Hot on his heels is St Helens Jonny Lomax, who along with Tomkins flew out of the blocks early in the year. Lomax’s St Helens have played 3 less games than the Dragons, but with the prospect of facing 4 teams that occupy the top 6 league positions for Catalans, Lomax could quickly overturn his points deficit if Man of Steel points become scarce for the Dragons.
Despite his recent injury, Hull KR’s Jordan Abdull is firmly in the conversation for this year’s award. Adbull has been instrumental to the Robins resurgence in 2021, helping his side sit comfortably in the top 6 ahead of the final third of the season. Rovers will be desperate for the half back to return before seasons end, to help steer the Robins into the Play-Offs. And if he does, he could well be a contender for the Man of Steel award.
Gareth Widdop made an imminent return to action in Round 19 - the Wolves half will be hoping to pick up where he left off before injury disrupted his impressive start to 2021. Widdop earned points in every round between rounds 7 and 11 - which included him winning May’s Player of the Month award – before he fell victim to injury. Now, with huge points up for grabs in the final third of the season, he could well be a late contender for the Man of Steel award.
That’s not forgetting the 2019 Man of Steel winner Jackson Hastings. The ever versatile and always impressive Hastings has propelled himself into the top 5 after a string of commanding performances. With the Warriors beginning to find the same vein of form that helped them win the 2020 League Leaders’ Shield, Hastings will be a frontrunner for Man of Steel points as he looks to end his Warriors tenure with a Grand Final ring.