The NRL was on show last night as the stars of the rugby league, from players to coaches to partners hit the red carpet at the Dally M Medals at the Hordern Pavillion in Sydney.

The game’s biggest names dazzled on arrival – with the women showing off their designer dresses to the cameras, and the men doing their very best to not get drunk and ruin their careers.

In a refreshingly wholesome look for the NRL, some players brought their mothers as dates. Some players even brought their dads in a heartwarming showing of community as the game congratulates itself on the spectacular season that was – and quietly prepares for this weekend’s Grand Final show down between the Canberra Raiders and the Sydney Roosters.

Last night also confirmed the NRL as Australia’s most multicultural game, with an Italian boy winning the Dally M for the first time since Danny Buderus in 2004.

Polynesians, Lebanese, Queenslanders and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders were also heavily represented in the nominations throughout the evening – as the rugby league proudly showed off its successful grassroots initiatives to expand the game.

Another community that was also well accounted for on the red carpet was the growing number of anti-vaxxers in the NRL. The wives, girlfriends and the reluctant players who now subscribe to a movement based around the refusal to be vaccinated or to have one’s children vaccinated due to a skepticism of the overwhelming scientific consensus about the safety and efficiency of immunisations – were more than catered for last night.

Commendably, the NRL didn’t miss a beat when it came to cross-cultural sensitivities that surround the anti-vaxxer movement – even go so far as grouping them all together at the same table inside a hazmat decontamination tent – so as to ease the anxieties of other young mothers that attended last night’s event.

The special tent also had a pulley system that would lower the meals into the tents, which protected the waiters from contracting whooping cough or polio from the glamorous young alternative medical professionals.

NRL stars Frank Winterstein and Bryce Cartwright say that their partners felt honoured to have their beliefs acknowledged and respected in such a way.


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