Nathan Cleary's Dally M hopes have been handed a massive boost with the Penrith halfback not set to lose six points for an early season two-game NRL ban.
It had initially been thought Cleary would lose three points for each of the two matches he missed when banned for misleading the integrity unit over a quarantine breach.
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However, the NRL has now confirmed that won't be the case with points deductions only relating to on-field matters of foul play.
"Consistent with previous seasons, players will only be deducted Dally M points for on-field suspensions handed down by the match review committee or judiciary," an NRL spokesman said.
Cleary would arguably have been the favourite to claim the award even with the six-point deduction factored in.
He was equal-fourth when voting went behind closed doors, but only two points off leader Harry Grant.
Cleary has not missed a game since then, with four of the five players either level or ahead of him having sat at least one in that time.
The Panthers No.7 has been in dominant form this year as his side remains undefeated since round six - with Cleary leading the NRL for try involvements, kick metres and 40-20s.
The NRL's Dally Ms will be held in grand final week, with a virtual component likely as the NRL consider whether players will be able to attend either in or out of bubbles.
NRL coaches back referee changes after trial
NRL coaches have thrown their support behind the NRL empowering its referees to back their judgement in try scoring situations by making an adjustment in the use of the bunker.
The league this week trialled a handful of potential rule changes in two separate dead rubber games, including Sunday's contest between the Warriors and Manly.
Other experimental changes included the use of the six-again rule for 10-metre infringements, possession handover when kicks go into touch, and forcing forwards to pack down in scrums.
Warriors caretaker coach Todd Payten, who will take over at North Queensland next season, rued a missed attacking opportunity with the scrum in a game he said was played at a noticeably faster pace.
"It sped the game up a little bit," Payten said.
"They put a scrum there on the 10-metre line and we put something very similar into practice where we'd start on the 10, get to the second defender on the scrum and come back potentially at all forwards with a bit of shape. They nearly scored off that play.
"There's a little bit to work with there if you want to manipulate it in some way, but I don't think that rule as such has a particular effect on the game whereas the others did."
In the other dead rubber clash between Brisbane and North Queensland, a try was denied by the bunker despite being originally awarded by the on-field officials.
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