The Man of Steel award is one of the most prestigious in British rugby league and is intended to reward the very best player across the whole of the season.
Typically in history that’s exactly how it’s been with the award passing through some of the game’s very greatest players.
Perhaps more telling of the difficulty to win the award is the fact that players such as Kevin Sinfield and Danny McGuire have never won it.
The current Man of Steel points are awarded after each game with the maximum of three points available, then two and then finally one meaning in theory the player who is consistently best in matches across the season earns the title.
Thus far this season George Williams has been spectacular and as such he’s racked up plenty of points including the maximum three this week as Warrington whitewashed Castleford.
The other points winners in that game were Paul Vaughan (two) and Matty Russell (one) who both scored, with Russell bagging a brace on his second debut for the club.
Other games on Friday saw Hull KR clean sweep the points as they beat Wakefield with Elliot Minchella (three), Mikey Lewis (two) and Rhys Kennedy (one) taking the points.
The televised game saw Bevan French headline Wigan’s comeback against Salford and as such he scored three points whilst his running mate Jai Field (two) and rival winger Ken Sio (one) scooped the rest.
It was Thursday’s televised game though that saw one man omitted despite being awarded Man of the Match and then being singled out by Paul Wellens for praise.
Matty Lees had a huge 68 tackles in the tight victory over Huddersfield prompting Sky Sports to award him Man of the Match whilst Wellens labelled him “iconic”.
However, Lees got no Man of Steel points with Konrad Hurrell getting the maximum points and two Huddersfield Giants stars getting the rest of the points.
Speaking on Saints TV, Paul Wellens questioned this decision:
“Well I’m not sure how anyone can watch that game and not see that Matty was the standout player on the field in terms of what he delivered.
“I suppose it does raise a bit of a question in terms of what actually is valued in terms of Man of Steel points because I know myself as the coach, I couldn’t have been more happy with Matty and he was certainly our standout performer on the night.
“I think what we have within our group is that we have a group of players who don’t get too carried away with Man of Steel points.
“What’s more important for our team is how hard they work for each other and getting results, and selfless performances like what Matty produced are more important than someone maybe someone picking up three tries ad getting three Man of Steel points.
“It’s nor really what interests us as a team.”