Waratahs' Kose Lelei takes home Ray Thorpe Medal for 2017 Group 20 season

With his side now destined to a grand final against local rival Black and Whites, Waratahs’ Kose Lelei has been rewarded for his consistent performances throughout the year.

It was a close count for the first grade with Lelei and Tullibigeal Lake Cargelligo’s Jaden Kelly separated by two votes at the end of round 18.

It was a strong end to the season which saw the powerful centre pick up the award and he credited his teammates for his late season run of form.

“I think towards the end where everyone started gelling,” he said

“Full credit to all the boys who turned out and played for me and H-Man (Chris Hanneman) week in week out.

“We have a lot of young fellas in our team and for them to step up each week probably brings the best out of all of us.”

Lelei finished the season averaging almost a try a game with his standout performance being against TLU in round 17 where he scored five tries in their come from behind win.

Lelei and his side will now turn their focus to the grand final as they look to secure their third first-grade premiership in four years when they take on the Black and Whites.