Dally M winner Kalyn Ponga’s mum thought her son was no chance of winning the prestigious award, and she delivered a brutal sledge to prove it.
The Newcastle Knights star was considered an outsider to take home the award, however stormed home in the count to beat Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson by a single point.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Kalyn Ponga’s mum delivers a brutal sledge to her son.
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Ponga was the star of the show for the Knights as the team won an incredible 10 games in a row at the back end of the year.
However, their season came to a heartbreaking end with a semi-final loss to the Warriors in week two of the finals series.
Despite his brilliant form, Ponga’s mum Adine didn’t give him much hope of taking home the top prize.
Kalyn Ponga’s mum delivered a brutal sledge. Credit: Fox Sports
“Do you think he (Ponga) is a chance of winning tonight, hopeful?” Fox League’s Jake Duke asked Adine on the red carpet ahead of the ceremony.
““Ooo, awww,” she replied, looking slightly confused by the question.
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Adine then looked at Kalyn and mumbled “no” as she shook her head.
“No,” she said, giggling. “I’ll be proud no matter what,” Adine added.
Speaking on the morning after the event, Ponga was proud to join the prestigious list of winners.
“It’s pretty special to be etched in history,” he told Sunrise host Matt Shirvington.
“I’ll probably look back on it at some point in the next few days and be pretty proud of what I’ve done.”
The 25-year-old struggled early in the season with concussions and flew to Canada for specialist treatment, with retirement from rugby league crossing his mind as the head knocks became more common.
Kalyn Ponga celebrates with his Dally M medal. Credit: Getty Images
“I was on a plane to Canada early in the season about round two, three and I was thinking I had to retire at the point and that was the reality for me,” Ponga admitted.
“Once I got through that, I knew I was fine.
“I said it on stage (at the awards night) I was sort of over letting people down and I wanted to make people proud.
“I had that in mind the whole time I was over there (in Canada).
“I come back and I think I have done that.
“As a team, we have also made people proud.
“Newcastle is such a town that is screaming for success and they want that from us and I think we did that for them this year.”
Ponga enjoyed the chance to celebrate his incredible success.
“It was a good night, I enjoyed the night,” Ponga laughed, when asked how his head was feeling the morning after the night before.
“I had a few texts from a few people telling me to soak it all up, so I definitely did that.
“Once I sort of got through the formalities, I enjoyed the night.”
Kalyn Ponga suffered a concussion in the opening minutes of Newcastle’s NRL clash with Wests Tigers early in the season. Credit: AAP
Ponga also revealed teammate Bradman Best stole his medal during the night and was wearing it.
“Bradman Best was wearing the Dally M medal for a little bit,” Ponga laughed.
“I had Dom (Dominic Young), Nicho (Hynes) and a few of the boys were there.
“Some boys from other teams as well, which is a part of the night that is special to be able to reconnect with them.”
Ponga tipped the Broncos to win the grand final against the Panthers, with the Maroons star sticking solid with the Queensland-based team.
“I want the Broncos to win, that’s where my heart lies with the Queensland connection,” Ponga said.
“I know a few boys in the team.
“Both teams deserve to be in the grand final and they both deserve to win.
“They have been at the top of the season all year.
“It’s going to be a tough one, but I reckon the Broncos.”
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