Clive Churchill Medal Guide

Punting on the Clive Churchill Medal really gives you an added bonus to that NRL Grand Final Weekend. The feeling of winning a punt at such high stakes almost replicates the joy the actual player would feel in receiving the medal.

Each year on NRL Grand Final Day, the Clive Churchill Medal is handed to the best player on ground in the NRL Grand Final.

Last year, in 2020, Melbourne Storm’s Cameron Smith and Penrith Panthers’ Nathan Cleary were early favourites for the award – at $4.50. Winner Ryan Papenhuyzen actually ranked fourth in terms of odds, at a whopping $10.

So, how do you predict the best player in the NRL Grand Final, before you’ve even seen them perform? How do you find value in these odds and make some serious bankroll?

This page is here to tell you all the tips and tricks to the Clive Churchill Medal – and how to punt for profit in terms of the Best Player on Field in the NRL Grand Final.

2020 Clive Churchill Medal Favourites

In a stunning display, both Nathan Cleary nor Cameron Smith, the two Clive Churchill Medal Favourites were awarded the accolade in 2020.

Despite Cleary scoring a try in the last 10 seconds of the match, and Cameron Smith also contributing to the scoreboard in more ways than one – neither were able to take home the title.

Smith was playing what was perhaps his last game in the greatest Rugby League Career the NRL has ever seen – with a fifth NRL Grand Final Win – the Clive Churchill Medal would’ve been the last milestone in his age-old career.

The Melbourne Storm won the Grand Final – and it was said prior to the game, that one of his teammates would have to play the match of their life to take The Clive Churchill Medal off of Smith, and Papenhuyzen did.

2020 Roughies in Clive Churchill Medal Betting

Obviously, Papenhuyzen himself was a roughie, coming in at $10 before the match begun.

Jarome Luai was also a whopping $51 in the Clive Churchill Medal Market betting before finals had kicked off – with odds fluctuating down to $21 to win the award.

So, how do you find this value in such a huge pool of contenders?

Check out our tips below.

Form Guide

This is one of the most obvious ways to pick a Clive Churchill Medal Winner. How has the player been going in relation to the finals, and the rest of the year altogether?

Papenhuyzen had an absolutely monstrous year, despite only debuting in 2019. In his career alone he’s averaged 20 tries in 42 appearances… and in 2020 strove to new heights, averaging 126 metres across 22 games, which in turn produced 15 line breaks, 99 tackles, eleven tries, and seven try assists.

Papenhuyzen was in hot form coming into the Grand Final – and this is the first thing you have to look for in terms of the Clive Churchill Medal Winner.


Like aforementioned, statistics are one of the most vital ways to really get down to the nitty gritty when it comes to the Clive Churchill Medal Winner.

Looking at the numbers is the only way to correctly crunch the data, and get a numerical value for your NRL Grand Final Player of the Match.

If you look at the statistical differences between Papenhuyzen, and Storm Favourite, Cameron Smith – you can see the clear disparity between the two. Although Smith has had an insane career – missing two matches in the year due to a knee injury was really the beginning of the end for the 3-year-old.

While Papenhuyzen is young, up and coming, and both the fastest player in the league – with a high scoring record. Smith is on his way down and is getting older, and slower.

If you look at the numbers between the two, Papenhuyzen has more tries, running meters, tackles, and line breaks than Smith in 2020 – which made him a clear frontrunner for the Clive Churchill Medal at some pretty huge odds.

Big Game Player

But, while numbers are one thing, there can always be surprises and outliers. And this comes in the form of the big game player. It’s one thing to be numerically good throughout a Home and Away season, but can you stand up when the going gets tough?

This tip is actually vital when it comes to the Clive Churchill Medal Winner – you must look at their performances throughout close match-up’s throughout the year, or against hard defensive teams.

If you want to get the best odds on the Clive Churchill Medal, you have to get in early, but if you want to get the safest, check out their performance throughout finals, to double-check they’re able to stand up in those difficult moments.

Match Winner

Predicting the Match Winner before the game will actually half your prize pool, when it comes to determining the Clive Churchill Medal Champion. Rarely, and I mean very, very rarely, does the award go to a player that doesn’t win the match.

This has only happened four times in the history of the game, which spans over a damn long time. From 1967 – 2020 only Les Johns, Bradley Clyde, Brad McKay and Daly Cherry-Evans managed to pip the award on a losing team!

This makes the Clive Churchill Medal Winner way easier to predict, if you can pre-determine the match winner, because, chances are, it won’t be going to someone from the losing team.

Try Scoring Ability, Running Metres and Tackles

NRL is a pretty statistically rich sport, when you think about it. And the most difficult thing is that you have to be both an offensive and defensive player – otherwise it’s just not going to work out as a career. This much can definitely be said for the Clive Churchill Medal Winner.

They must be able to score tries – and contribute tangibly to the scoreboard, run the metres down to actually push forward, and also lay those tough tackles when the other side has the ball in their hands.

It’s already been proven that Papenhuyzen could do these three things, statistically, while also fulfilling the other requirements needed to win the Clive Churchill Medal – therefore actually making him the obvious choice all along.

Punt with Sportsbet

Okay, hear me out on this one. Sportsbet are Australia’s best bookie for a reason. And that fact became even more apparent on NRL Grand Final Day, when they paid out Cameron Smith to win the Clive Churchill Medal early, despite him not actually winning.

Smith was having such a good game in the first half, that Sportsbet, and ever Aussie NRL Fan out there, assumed he was a sure thing to win the medal… so everyone got paid out! Papenhuyzen also got paid out to happy punters at the end of the match, at the best odds!