Isaako in Kiwis frame after Dolphins awards haul

Dolphins winger Jamayne Isaako scooped the pool at the club's inaugural presentation night and is now right in the frame for a New Zealand Test recall.

The 27-year-old won the Arthur Beetson Medal as player of the year and also took out the player's player, best back and most consistent gongs after scoring 244 points and 24 tries this season.

Isaako finished the year as the NRL's leading point scorer and try scorer, a feat not achieved since Mal Meninga's accomplishment with Canberra in 1990.

"It is incredible. I didn't expect to come here and pick up all these awards," Isaako told AAP.

"To have my peers vote me as player's player means a lot to me. I came here this year with the pure intention and goal to play every game as though it was my last ... and I played every game.

"I thank my coach and my teammates for trusting in me to do a job each week. I wasn’t even supposed to start the season, so I am grateful."

Isaako credits Wayne Bennett for getting the best out of him but he also had a point to prove to the coach at the start of the year.

"Wayne told right before the season was supposed to start that he was going to start me in Q Cup and as much as it broke my heart I was adamant that I was going to prove to him that I wanted to play in this team," he said.

"I got the opportunity to start round one and I knew it was an opportunity I couldn't look back on. The last couple of years were tough. That is why I am so emotional.

“I took it so serious at the start of the season that this year was going to be different, and it was different.”

Kiwis coach Michael Maguire has taken great delight in Isaako's form and he is set to be named in the train-on squad for the end-of-season Tests.

He last played for New Zealand in 2019, the same year he represented Samoa to honour the heritage of his late father Taai who lost his brave battle with cancer in 2020.

Isaako may have a decision to make in the coming weeks about which nation he makes himself available for, but that is for another day.

Everything he does is with his dear father in mind.

“I made a promise to myself this year that I was going to do everything I can to make him proud,” Isaako said.

Other Dolphins award-winners included Mark Nicholls (best forward) and Isaiya Katoa (rookie of the year).

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