Austbrokers Canberra CRC TOTY: Second Row

Continuing with our Team of the Year series, we take a look at the second row.

Second Rowers: Tori Freeman-Quay (West Belconnen Warriors) & Michael Cullen (Queanbeyan Blues)

Although it wasn’t the title defence that West Belconnen were hoping for, nobody could blame their failure to make the finals on Tori Freeman-Quay.

In a year that he won the Country Rugby League Player of the Year Award, Freeman-Quay continually showed his appetite for hard with his uncompromising defence and willingness to run the ball out of defence.

However, the 23-year-old has shown much more than just his tendency to run and tackle hard, the second-rower scored five tries this season and was able create tries for the players outside him.

Michael Cullen slipped under the radar as the Blues claimed the 2017 Premiership.

With most of the attention on Terry Campese and the rugby union converts, the Queanbeyan junior amassed 10 tries for the season, the equal most for any forward alongside Woden’s Michael Gilmour.

Of these tries, two of them came when the Blues needed them most. Coming into the preliminary final against Yass off the back of three straight losses, Cullen linked up with Campese to score twice in the opening moments and to send the Blues into the grand final.

Contenders: Mike Uluakiola (Tuggeranong Bushrangers), Michael Gilmour (Woden Valley Rams), Blake Hewitt (Goulburn Workers Bulldogs), Ben Sione (Belconnen United Sharks)

Up next: Lock

Photo: Country Rugby League