Rapana was named alongside such legends as Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Paul Gallen in the team of the year, despite feeling the award should have gone to his rookie teammate Nick Cotric.
“He was very composed and I think if anyone should have won winger of the year, it should have been him. He’s helped me heaps and I’m sure we both helped each other throughout the year,” Rapana told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Despite his humility Rapana, whose grandfather was born in the Cook Islands, was clearly a lock for the award.
The 28-year-old Canberra Raiders winger dominated the competition in 2017, scoring 21 tries, which included hat-tricks against the Newcastle Knights and the Gold Coast Titans.
His recognition for an electric 2017 could be looked at also as an apology for not being given the award the previous year, when he scored 23 tries in 27 matches for the Green Machine, breaking the club’s try-scoring record.
Rapana will aim to continue that try scoring form later this year at the Rugby World Cup, as the Kiwis will look to reclaim the trophy from a legendary but aging Kangaroo’s side.
Smith was the big winner on the night, taking home the captain, player and hooker of the year, though he will clearly hope to take home the Grand Final trophy when they square off against the North Queensland Cowboys today.
Dally M Player of the Year:
Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm), Captain of the Year: Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm), Coach of the Year: Craig Bellamy (Melbourne Storm), Peter Moore Award for Rookie of the Year: Nick Cotric (Canberra Raiders), Fullback of the Year: Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm), Wing of the Year: Jordan Rapana (Canberra Raiders), Centre of the Year: Dylan Walker (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles), Five-eighth of the Year: Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra Dragons), Halfback of the Year: Michael Morgan (North Queensland Cowboys), Lock of the Year: Paul Gallen (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Second-rower of the Year: Matt Gillett (Brisbane Broncos), Prop of the Year: Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers), Hooker of the Year: Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm), Interchange Player of the Year: Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Penrith Panthers), Tackle of the Year: Nathan Brown (Parramatta Eels), Try of the Year: Kyle Feldt (North Queensland Cowboys), Top Points Scorer: Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers), Top Try Scorer: Suliasi Vunivalu (Melbourne Storm).