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Klemmer, Trbojevic dominate Blues awards

Words: Chris Kennedy, National Correspondent‌‌, ‌‌‌NRL.com

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Close mates and Blues bench props Dave Klemmer and Jake Trbojevic have swept the major awards at the annual Brad Fittler Medal night.

Klemmer was honoured with the major award, the Brad Fittler Medal for NSW's best player in the 2017 Origin series, for his incredibly consistent three games that netted him 519 metres including a powerful 244 post-contact metres.

Trbojevic was in just his first season of Origin and was selected for all three games, averaging 110 metres and 23 tackles in high-energy stints off the bench, earning him both the coach's True Blue award and fan-selected Daily Telegraph People's Choice Award.

"I don't know what to say, I'm pretty shocked," Klemmer said.

"I didn't think coming here tonight I was going to get an award but to get an award from one of the greats of the game in Brad Fittler, it's pretty special."

Klemmer said he enjoyed his role off the bench, adding the current squad – which performed so powerfully in winning Game One before falling away to drop the series 2-1 – was looking to build "something special".

"We started off pretty well this year and unfortunately we didn't follow through with it," he said.

"There's a grand design there to win a series. Hopefully next year will be my fourth. I just want to win a series, it's a burning desire for myself."

Jake Trbojevic said just to make the Game One squad was a dream come true but to get three caps then receive both the fans' and coach's award afterwards was "surreal".

"I was just happy to be a part of the whole campaign and then to get these awards is very special, it's something I'm very proud of," Trbojevic said.

"It means a lot. [Daley] has done a lot for the game as a player and a coach so to get that from him is something very special and something I'm humbled about.

"It was a shame about the result but the whole experience is something I'll always remember."

Full list of award winners

Klemmer and Trbojevic have been close for a number of years after coming through the system playing alongside each other in underage representative Origin and Kangaroos teams.

While Klemmer's career has gone from strength to strength virtually from the time of his 2013 NRL debut, Trbojevic – who debuted at the end of 2013 – hit a major hurdle when a horror leg injury forced him to sit out the entire 2014 season.

He has been making up for lost time since, nailing down Test and Blues jerseys over the past 12 months.

"I don't know how to describe him as a footballer – he's one of a kind and he's a special talent," Klemmer said of Trbojevic.

"To see him where he is now, he had a horrific injury coming through to first grade and to see where he's come now, he deserves all the accolades he gets.

"To see him get those awards I'm super proud to play with him and know him as well because he's such a good bloke and his mum and dad can be pretty proud as well.

"I can't praise him highly enough, he's such a good person and an outstanding footballer. To see him up there tonight, you can see how proud he is to play football."

Other award winners on the night included powerful NSW and Mounties prop Simaima Taufa taking home the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s State Player of the Year, her Jillaroos teammate Caitlyn Moran receiving the Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership Player of the Year.

Manly and Blacktown Workers playmaker Cam Cullen was named Intrust Super Premiership NSW Player of the Year in a strong night for the Sea Eagles.

This article first appeared on NRL.com