Fijian fullback Jahream Bula scooped three major awards at the Wests Tigers awards night earlier this week.
Bula claimed the Kelly-Barnes Medal after being voted the club’s 2023 NRL Player of the Year.
Following a scintillating debut season, the mercurial No.1 was also voted to be Wests Tigers’ Players’ Player and Rookie of the Year.
The Kelly-Barnes Medal vote count went right down to the final match of the season with Bula and Fiji Bati hooker Api Koroisau level on 22 votes heading into the Round 27 game against Manly Sea Eagles.
Bula claimed three points – and Skipper Koroisau two – in the 3-2-1 voting last Friday, to pip his captain by just one point across the 2023 season.
The 21-year-old scored 5 tries in 18 NRL appearances this season and prevented countless four-pointers as the last line of defence, including try-savers in his team’s victory over the Panthers in Bathurst and the Dragons in Magic Round.
Bula played the full 80 minutes in every NRL appearance after not missing a minute in the three NSW Cup games he played for Western Suburbs Magpies.
He averaged a club-high 159.1 running metres per game with a season-high of 245 metres against Canberra Raiders in Round 14.
Wests Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe extended his congratulations to all award winners, and to all who contributed to the club in 2023.
“I would like to congratulate all award winners, and particularly Jahream, for collecting the Kelly-Barnes Medal, the Players’ Player, and Rookie of the Year,” Pascoe said in a statement.
“To do all this in his first season in the top grade is simply remarkable.”
“Jahream is an absolute pleasure to have at the club. He holds strong values and works hard for everything he has achieved and this is only just the beginning for this young man.”
“He was one of seven players to make their NRL debut with Wests Tigers in 2023, with only two other clubs fielding more first-timers.”