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NRL responds after Nicho Hynes and Joey Manu caught up in Dally M voting storm

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow's opening-round Dally M point headlined a number of puzzling round one votes.

The NRL has defended the decision to keep Dally M judges anonymous following some questionable votes in the opening round. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow received one Dally M point on Sunday, despite a horror game in the Dolphins' 43-18 loss to North Queensland.

The Dolphins fullback fell for a dummy for the Cowboys' first try and had a moment of madness at the back where he inexplicably kicked a loose ball back to the Cowboys for them to score another. And that wasn't the only Dally M decision that left NRL fans scratching their heads.

Joey Manu and Nicho Hynes in the NRL.
The NRL has defended the decision to keep Dally M judges anonymous following some questionable votes in the opening round. Image: Getty

Roosters star Joey Manu did not receive a single vote despite lighting up Las Vegas in the Roosters' win. While Nicho Hynes picked up a maximum six points despite having a pretty quiet game.

Last year, the Dally M changed to a two-judge voting system to try to eliminate a rogue vote. The NRL also decided to make the judges anonymous in a complete overhaul of the Dally M system for integrity purposes, with two judges appointed to each game. Under the system, each judge awards a 3-2-1, with the points combined and a maximum of six points on offer for a single player.

Graham Annesley defends Dally M points system

NRL fans were left angry at the judges after round one after some peculiar choices were made. But NRL head of football Graham Annesley said he is happy with the system and that the judges are highly qualified to vote as they are all "high-profile former players".

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 10: Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow of the Dolphins pushes away the defence during the round one NRL match between the Dolphins and North Queensland Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium, on March 10, 2024, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow received one Dally M point on Sunday, despite a horror game in the Dolphins' 43-18 loss to North Queensland. Image: Getty (Bradley Kanaris via Getty Images)

"They've got a job to select players who are their peers because they've done exactly what these players have done," he said. "Across the course of the season, the players will be judged by many of these judges, and it's not like we've got these judges doing the same teams every week. It's about the credibility and the integrity of the process, so it shouldn't matter who is doing the selections as long as they're people who are qualified to do it.

"It's a season-long competition, and people will agree or disagree (with the votes). It happens publicly for the first half of the year and then it goes behind closed doors. That's been the process for recent seasons, and it's the process again. It's a matter of opinion."

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However, Annesley's confidence in the system was not shared by NRL fans who were left scratching their heads at multiple choices. The fact Manu's performance was deemed not good enough to score a single point in the Dally M voting was one that raised the most eyebrows. While the call to give Tabuai-Fidow a point left many of the opinion that the system is broken.

Nicho Hynes scores six points in Sharks win

The Sharks' defence stepped up in round one against the Warriors as they scored a gritty 16-12 victory on Saturday. Hynes had a relatively quiet game for his standards, with no attacking stats but still came up with the three points from both judges.

While Hynes led from the front for the Sharks, fans argued rival halfback Shaun Johnson outshone the Cronulla star in a losing side. Veteran forwards Addin Fonua-Blake and Tohu Harris were arguably the best on ground, combining for 324 running metres. But Fonua-Blake ended with three Dally M votes and Harris got none.

with AAP

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