Cook, Tedesco and Trbojevic the favourites for Brad Fittler Medal
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Cook, Tedesco and Trbojevic the favourites for Brad Fittler Medal

Brad Fittler seemed to have an answer for every problem that came his way during his Origin campaign.

But Fittler is genuinely stumped when it comes to who will take out the award for best NSW representative player and the medal named in his honour on Monday night.

No.1 gun: James Tedesco was brilliant for the Blues in 2018.

No.1 gun: James Tedesco was brilliant for the Blues in 2018.Credit:AAP

You could make a case for half a dozen Blues to win the Brad Fittler Medal after their stirring series win over Queensland.

James Tedesco was outstanding in the 22-12 victory in Melbourne when he scored a try, set up another and had the Maroons forever on the back foot.

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James Maloney kept a cool head in game two with his kicking game as Queensland pressed late for a win in Sydney. Boyd Cordner was named man of the match, despite coming from the field late with a head knock.

Then Tom Trbojevic ran for more than 200m at Suncorp Stadium and was an absolute handful in a losing side.

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That performance was so impressive Fittler nominated Trbojevic as his pick for the Wally Lewids Medal, despite the shock announcement only minutes earlier Billy Slater had triumphed in his final Origin appearance.

"You better throw in Billy," quipped Fittler, when asked for his Brad Fittler Medal prediction by Fairfax Media.

Latrell Mitchell was also brilliant in his first series, as were David Klemmer and Damien Cook.

"'Turbo', 'Teddy' and Cook I would say," Fittler said, in no particular order, when asked who he thought had performed the best from the Origin-winning side.

"Turbo played above himself I thought and there were things people didn't think he could do which he did.

"James Tedesco lived up to the hype, which is always hard.

"And Damien Cook played out of his skin and was better than anyone thought he could be. He was great again on Friday night [for South Sydney], he was strong, they [Melbourne] knocked him around a bit and he had a few blokes running at him, but he was pretty impressive.

"The best and most encouraging thing is seeing all the players keep improving [after Origin]. That is a must."

There were 12 debutants in Fittler's side, and they were naturally going to flatten out in the weeks after the series.

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Fittler himself revealed he struggled to cope after his first campaign as coach, and going on a holiday to Asia by himself was a struggle.

"It's very intense and you get down," Fittler said. "You're normally waking up and chasing the big prize, then midway through the year the prize is gone. You get flat. I did strggle on holidays by myself."

Klemmer won the Brad Fittler Medal last year, Canterbury teammate Josh Jackson was given the nod in 2016 and Josh Dugan the year before that. In 2014, the year the Blues won their only series under Laurie Daley, Jarryd Hayne and Ryan Hoffman were joint winners.

The gong is decided by the players on a 3-2-1 basis. Fittler always stressed if NSW were to succeed, the Sydney clubs needed to fire early, which was the case.

Of all the players who will be in the room on Monday night, only three did not feature in the finals.

Meanwhile, the representative retirements of Cooper Cronk, Johnathan Thurston, Cameron Smith and now Slater means the Maroons have undergone a mass changing of the guard.

But their future is in good hands, especially with the form of Cameron Munster and Valentine Holmes, two stars who are leading lights in the finals and who could torment Fittler and NSW for many years to come.