As they did with the Central West Rugby Union equivalent, the public have had their say on The People's Choice Group 10 Team Of The Year, with more than 3,000 votes rolling in over the last fortnight.
Every nominee put forward by the Central Western Daily's experts polled and a giant number of additional candidates were put forward. There's no surprise a number of Bathurst Panthers were voted in after becoming the first team to win back-to-back premierships since Orange CYMS in 2010 and 2011, but some of the other selections might surprise a little bit.
Regardless, it's one heck of a side. Without further adieu, we present The People's Choice Group 10 Team Of The Year.
THE PROPS: Two-time Dave Scott Medal winner BRENT SEAGER was a runaway winner here, polling 26.2 per cent of more than 500 votes for the bookends. He had another massive season and led his Bathurst Panthers to a second straight title, and is joined in this side's front row by Oberon toiler LUKE CHRISTIE-JOHNSTON, who picked up 20.46% per cent of the votes.
THE HOOKER: He was the leading try-scorer in the competition and cleaned up at Orange CYMS' night of nights after a whopping year, so it was no surprise to see RYAN GRIFFIN claim the lion's share of votes and get named at dummy-half here. He picked up 35.53 per cent of the votes, with Orange Hawks Alex Prout the next best with a tick over 28 per cent.
THE SECOND-ROWERS: Barnstorming Lithgow Workies edge forward GREG ALDERSON polled 28.54 per cent of the voting, picking up almost 150 votes to finish a mile in front of his second-row partner JACK SIEJKA. The hostile Panthers back-rower claimed 16.89 per cent.
THE LOCK: Oberon's BLAKE FITZPATRICK came up trumps to lock the scrum, receiving 34.25 per cent of the votes to be rewarded for a massive season in a side that was plagued by injuries. He kept premiership-winner Jake Betts (25.23 per cent) out of the No.13 jersey and also beat out Group 10's player-of-the-year in Hawks' Nathan Potts (21.62 per cent).
THE HALFBACK: Unsurprisingly, Panthers' pivot DOUG HEWITT made light work of his rivals in the polling and pick up more than 50 per cent of the votes, 56.4 per cent to be exact. He was light years in front of the next best, deservedly so after orchestrating the Bathurst side's second straight title.
THE FIVE-EIGHTH: They won another title together for Panthers and the public seems to appreciate that by voting WILLIE WRIGHT in as Hewitt's halves partner. Wright romped home too, receiving 45.1 per cent of the votes to beat out the likes of Hawks' Willie Heta (24.53 per cent) and Lithgow Workies' Jono Van Veen (13.21 per cent).
THE CENTRES: After scoring more than a dozen tries through the 2019 season and setting up plenty more, Panthers' star three-quarter KEVIN MURRAY picked up 27.64 per cent of the votes and will be partnered by Oberon's ABEL LEFAOSEU. The Tigers' gun centre claimed 23.27 per cent of the votes, the pair taking care of more than half combined.
THE WINGERS:LOUIS MURPHY formed a deadly combination with Murray on Panthers' left edge and the public has partnered them in this side too, he claimed 24 per cent of the votes. Mudgee young gun HARRISON MAYNARD came from nowhere to be earn a nod on the other wing, a flurry of late votes pushing to him to 18.55 per cent and winning him the No.5 jersey.
THE FULLBACK: Another runaway winner, Oberon's JACKSON BRIEN was voted into the custodian role with 38.64 per cent of the votes, unsurprisingly too considering he is Group 10's premier fullback and had another massive season.
THE COACH: JACK LITTLEJOHN took Mudgee from seventh to the grand final in just 12 months, and his Dragons went within a kick of winning that decider too, losing 9-8 to Panthers. It was no mean feat, and the public clearly appreciate how good he was as a mentor, the former NRL and English Super League star received 49.54 per cent of the votes.
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