Footy fans slam Dally Ms and say Shaun Johnson was ROBBED – as they point to one huge mistake with voting for the NRL’s biggest award

  •  Fans furious over stunning Dally Ms result
  •  Johnson received zero points for Round 25
  •  Calls for changes to the voting system

Kalyn Ponga has capped a remarkable turnaround in 2023, overcoming a career-threatening concussion scare to snatch the Dally M Medal – but many footy fans are furious about the result.

Ponga’s upset win over Warriors ace Shaun Johnson was the biggest talking point out of the NRL’s night of nights. 

The Kiwi halfback was widely tipped to take home the prize after steering the Warriors into the top four in their first year back in New Zealand since 2019. 

But fullback Ponga, who was part of a Newcastle side that surged into the finals with nine straight wins, pipped Johnson at the post at Royal Randwick on Wednesday night.

Many footy fans and commentators were baffled by the shock result, with plenty calling for a change to the recently revamped voting system.

Many footy fans thought Dally M favourite Shaun Johnson was robbed on Wednesday night as Kalyn Ponga (pictured) won the game’s biggest individual award

The Warriors halfback controversially received zero points for his round 25 match, leaving fans mystified after he had a strong game

The Warriors halfback controversially received zero points for his round 25 match, leaving fans mystified after he had a strong game

One moment that raised eyebrows came when Johnson received zero points for his impressive round 25 match against Manly.

The No.7 led his team to victory with two try assists, two line-break assists and a field goal to secure victory for the Warriors.

‘Throughout the season I couldn’t shake the feeling that Shaun Johnson would be robbed in the Dally M race. They’ve stolen from him tonight,’ wrote one X user.

‘When Shaun Johnson received 0 points for a game he iced with a field goal I knew the writing was on the wall. The system itself is flawed enough, it doesn’t help when the people judging it are incompetent,’ replied another.

‘Round 25 – Wahs beat Manly 29 -22 – SJ has 2 Try assists and 2 linebreak assists and kicks the field goal yet scores Zero and Braith tries to make a funny ha ha only he found funny,’ said a third.

‘No. No. No. Shaun Johnson is the Dally M Medalist. The system needs to change. Period. Disagree if you want, but it’s a Seasonal award and SJ was the best all year. Ponga was sensational the last 2 months, but spare me,’ replied a third.

Matt Bungard, host of the Boom Rookies podcast, said: ‘The Dally M system is broken. It was broken last year and the year before that & doubling the points created the same outcome.

‘I love Kalyn Ponga and he was excellent in the final few weeks, but he wasn’t the best player over the whole year. Just switch to MVP voting, it works.’

Ponga’s feat is all the more remarkable considering he missed five weeks of the season to fly to Canada to receive specialist advice on his troubles with repeated concussions.

‘It’s a crazy feeling, I feel humbled and very lucky,’ Ponga said. 

‘I have a lot of people to thank – my family, the staff and my teammates. ‘The way I played this year is impossible without your support and love and belief in me. 

‘I had an early-season holiday and when I was over there I decided I wanted to stop letting people down, and yeah, what a year.’