Sunia Turuva was named Rookie of the Year at the Dally M Awards in Sydney tonight.
The winger took home the gong after a stunning season – taking the opportunity handed to him after Taylan May’s injury and exceeding all expectations.
“Ivan, and the coaching stuff, thanks for giving me confidence each week to go out and just be myself,” Turuva said after collecting the award.
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary said of Turuva: “He’s just been so reliable. He gets targeted every single week and has been incredible. He’s a ball of energy and we love him.”
The 21-year-old played in every game for Penrith this season, scoring 12 tries in the regular rounds.
Penrith also took out two positional awards in the Dally M Team of the Year – Stephen Crichton winning Centre of the Year and Liam Martin Second Rower of the Year.
Ivan Cleary missed out on the Coach of the Year Award, with Warriors coach Andrew Webster – his assistant at Penrith last year – taking the honour.
Kalyn Ponga was named the Dally M Player of the Year.
Earlier, Penrith players took to the red carpet with their partners, looking relaxed ahead of Sunday’s Grand Final.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Breaking News Reporter. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations. In 2023, he was named Editor of the Year at the Mumbrella Publish Awards.