It was the stuff that heroes are made of – that field goal, the intercept try, the try saving tackle. Without doubt, before the finals series is over there'll be many more players putting their hand up for hero status.
During the 2010 Grand Final week, just a few weeks away, the NRL will announce the winner of the Ken Stephen Medal - the real 2010 rugby league hero. Chances are it won't include any of those players we cheered for last weekend.
The Ken Stephen Medal has been awarded to players dedicated to supporting community groups throughout Australia.
The nomination list of 15 includes some players more noted for their tough exterior than their softer side. One player that fits that description is Brisbane's Corey Parker.
When the tv cameras focus on Parker as he takes a kick for goal you can't turn your eyes from trying to make out what is multiple tattoos say. Weighing in at over 100kg and sometimes playing in the front row, there is no doubt Parker is one of the tough men of rugby league.
So how did one of the tough men end up being nominated for outstanding community service? As it turns out Parker holds ambassador roles with the Starlight Children's Foundation, Boys Town, the Autism Early Intervention Outcomes Unit (AEIOU) and HUSH for Homelessness. Corey is also involved in club community activities through Broncos in the Community, including the Broncos Book Club, the McIntyre Centre and the Daniel Morcombe Foundation.
It's an impressive list for a 27 year old. And he's not the only one with an impressive community service record. In a recent interview NRL head administrator, David Gallop revealed the NRL had notched up over 22,000 hours of community service. In other words that's over 7.5 years worth of work.
Despite the fantastic work of many of the NRL players there would be few fans that have ever heard of the Ken Stephen Medal. Ken Stephen was a player and community worker who notched up over 25 years of community service.
It's hoped the decision to move the announcement of the winner to the grand final week will raise the profile of the award and encourage more players to spend their spare time assisting others.
NRL.com.au lists previous winners as: 1988 Wayne Pearce (Balmain) 1989 Ricky Walford (St George) 1990 Michael Bolt (Illawarra) 1991 Pat Jarvis (Norths) 1992 Peter Sterling (Parramatta) 1993 Michael Andrews (Souths) 1994 Ian Roberts (Manly) 1995 Rod Wishart (Illawarra) 1996 Not awarded 1997 Paul Harragon (Newcastle) 1998 Mark Coyne (St George) 1999 Andrew Ettingshausen (Cronulla) 2000 Nathan Blacklock(St George Illawarra) 2001 Parramatta club 2002 Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs) 2003 David Peachey (Cronulla) 2004 Dean Widders (Parramatta) 2005 Jason Stevens (Cronulla) 2006 Michael Monaghan (Manly) 2007 Ruben Wiki (Warriors) 2008 Preston Campbell (Titans) 2009 Nathan Hindmarsh (Parramatta)