Orange Emus' Nigel Staniforth among front-runners for Blowes Clothing Cup MVP award

Charlie French is polling well in the Central West Blowes Cup player of the year competition.

Charlie French is polling well in the Central West Blowes Cup player of the year competition.

The next two weeks are crucial for the Forbes Platypi, after last weekend's loss to Batthurst. The Platypi will need to win both matches, against Orange City and Kangaroos, as well as looking for a favour from the Cowra Eagles when they take on Kangaroos this weekend.

Coach mentor Phil Prior said last week's loss came down to a couple of things letting the team down, but on a positive note, they came out of the game injury free.

Prior said it will be nice for the first grade, and the other grades to finish the general season with a couple of wins.

Player of the Year awards

"The closest tally count the award has had for some years".

That's how Central West Rugby Union Referees Association president Richard Madden described this year's race for the Blowes Clothing Cup player-of-the-year gong, after releasing the progressive tallies this week.

The running count now goes behind closed doors before being announced on grand final day on August 24, and through 12 rounds there are three players tied in the lead with a plethora of others breathing down their necks.

(Emus') Andrew Selwood and (Bulldogs') Brad Glasson were runaway winners the last two years but this year's award will go down to the wire.

Central West referees boss Richard Madden

After noting 58 players have polled votes - handed out by the referees following each game - this season, Madden released the names of the top tier's six front-runners, doing so in no particular order and not divulging which trio are in a share for the lead.

At 38 Emus skipper Nigel Staniforth has proven he's still a force to be reckoned with by pushing his way into contention, along with Forbes' Charlie French, Bulldogs' Peter Fitzsimmons and Justin Mobbs, Dubbo Kangaroos' Will Archer and Cowra's Tim Berry.

"That reflects a change in the style of rugby being played, with tight five positioned players attracting more votes than in previous seasons," Madden said, with Staniforth the only back among that group.

CLOSE RACE: Central West referees boss Richard Madden, pictured after controlling his 150th game in 2017, labelled this year's MVP race the tightest in some time. Photo: PETER GUTHRIE

CLOSE RACE: Central West referees boss Richard Madden, pictured after controlling his 150th game in 2017, labelled this year's MVP race the tightest in some time. Photo: PETER GUTHRIE

"(Emus') Andrew Selwood and (Bulldogs') Brad Glasson were runaway winners the last two years but this year's award will go down to the wire.

"The close race highlights the need for consistency in performance... in line with the principle of the award, players are not necessarily awarded points because they scored the most points in the match, or the most tries."

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