FORMER Mackay player Daly Cherry-Evans may have missed out on the ultimate prize last night, but winning the Clive Churchill Medal must have been a satisfying consolation.
Cherry-Evans became only the third player to receive the NRL grand final award on a losing side.
Cherry-Evans said at the press conference that he was surprised to win the medal, despite running for almost 100 metres in a strong performance.
"Obviously it is a very bitter-sweet moment," he said. "I would definitely swap that for a premiership. It's obviously been stereotyped to (go to someone from) a winning side, so it's very surprising."
The decision to award Cherry-Evans the medal was unpopular with the Sydney crowd, drawing boos from around the ground.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson supported the selection of Cherry-Evans.
"I thought Daly was awesome," Robinson said.
"I thought he did a really good job. He is a courageous player and deserved to win."