King wins inaugural Fittler NRL medal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

King wins inaugural Fittler NRL medal

By Dave Donaghy 06/07/2005 11:28:31 PM Comments (0)

NSW coach Ricky Stuart said he had no hesitation in awarding Matt King the inaugural Brad Fittler medal after the Blues winger etched his named in the State of Origin history books.

Despite the game-winning performances of Andrew Johns and Anthony Minichiello in games two and three, as well as the tremendous service given by skipper Danny Buderus and Ben Kennedy, Stuart nominated King as the Blues' player of the series.

King became just the sixth player in Origin history to score three tries in a match as the Blues wrapped up their third successive series win with the 32-10 thumping of Queensland.

He joined Chris Anderson (1983) and Ryan Girdler (2000) as the only NSW players to record a hat-trick in Origin.

"I had to select it and there were probably five or six players that I could have nominated for the award," Stuart said.

"But when you look at it from a winger's point of view - the consistency, the positive play - he was important to the team performance throughout the three games."

Stuart said King, who plays in the centres for club side Melbourne, would not look out of place with an Australian jersey on his back.

"He's been the best winger in this series so if they're (Australian selectors) picking wingers through Origin form, he's the first one picked," he said.

King, who had previously worked as a garbage collector and a barman before focusing on football, said the Blues victory was the highlight of his career.

"Two years ago I was living on the lounge room floor of (Cronulla interchange player) Mick Sullivan's place, so it's a massive turnaround and I feel really blessed and something I won't take for granted," King told Channel Nine.

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