Pikiao's Dane Gagai wins Wally Lewis Medal for State of Origin

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Queensland Maroons have come back from a 1-0 deficit to claim the State of Origin series 2-1 with a convincing win over the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Dale Husband from Radio Waatea says, “The way the experienced guys cut gaps and flicked the ball wide Valentine Holmes chiming in it was a remarkable performance and I think a Māori style performance that we can all take a lead from.”

Ngāti Pikiao descendant Dane Gagai is the first winger to win the Wally Lewis Medal for State of Origin player of the series.

Husband says, “Fully deserving the Wally Lewis Medal too he's been wonderful across all three games and thoroughly deserved that recognition last night.”

Despite the struggles with his NRL side Newcastle, Gagai has shown his class at Origin level. He made more than 500 running metres over the three games.

Husband says, “Dane Gagai is a really terrific player sadly he's been in an underperforming NRL squad but in top company, you get a reminder that this wonderful mix of whakapapa lines his Aboriginal side, his Māori side as well, which he's always acknowledged he's just got the x-factor doesn't he.”

Next year Gagai will join the South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL club.