11 Sep 2008

Cursed Orford strikes back

10:54 am on 11 September 2008

The Dally M winner Matt Orford is hoping he can crack the curse which has kept an NRL player of the year without a premiership for 22 years, but he's given up on silencing his critics.

The Manly halfback beat fast finishing Melbourne duo Billy Slater and Cameron Smith to take the prestigious award last night and is now hoping to become the first player since Parramatta's Peter Sterling in 1986 to back it up with a grand final victory.

Orford, 30, has copped his fair share of criticism in a career that has seen him miss out on State of Origin football, partly because of injury, and a grand final win against his former club Melbourne last year.

Most of the pot-shots have highlighted his supposed inability to put his stamp on the games that count but he says he's used to it.