You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Isaiah Papali'i has taken the leap from a player of promise to a top-tier forward since joining Parramatta this year, clearly finishing atop the VB Hard Earned ladder.

The honour has been in Papali'i's keeping for some time, and despite being rested for the final round of the regular season, the 22-year-old was never in danger of being caught by runner-up Alex Twal.

Papali'i (total VB index score of 1755) has played 23 matches for the Eels, averaging a staggering score of 76.3 per game.

He mostly played in the second row, with the average score for that position across the competition being only 52.7.

A switch to the middle towards the end of the season, resulting in slightly less game-time, hasn't dulled Papali'i's impact or work rate.

The margin of his VB Hard Earned victory - with Wests Tigers prop Twal (1581) a huge 174 points behind him - is significant given Tohu Harris and Jake Trbojevic tied for first place on 1829 points last year.

A tweaking of how VB Hard Earned points are calculated has also made it slightly harder to rack up mammoth totals in 2021.

Papali'i is the third winner of the VB Hard Earned award with Panthers bookend James Fisher-Harris - who came fourth this year despite playing only 20 games - taking out the inaugural 2019 title.

Meanwhile, Sea Eagles fullback Tom Trbojevic produced an astounding effort to tally 105 points in Saturday's 46-18 win over the Cowboys.

As well as scoring a hat-trick, the superstar custodian had 24 runs - making eight or more metres 14 times - and busted a whopping 20 tackles.

Dragons lock Jack de Belin, who made 58 tackles in a loss to the Rabbitohs, ranked second in round 25 with an index score of 94.

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Major Sponsor

Premier Partners

View All Partners