SYDNEY (AP) — Melbourne captain Cameron Smith became the oldest player at 34 to win the Dally M Medal as the best player in Australia's National Rugby League, claiming the award Wednesday 11 years after winning it for the first time.

Smith won the medal by eight points from North Queensland star Michael Morgan, four days before Smith's Storm and Morgan's Cowboys meet in the NRL Grand Final.

St. George Illawarra's Gareth Widdop was third and Sydney Roosters five-eighth Luke Keary and Cronula captain Paul Gallen tied for fourth.

Smith said "in 2006 it was quite a shock. I'd just turned 23, I'd been in the game for three years and if you asked me back then I was really happy with the way I played in 2006. Thinking now, you probably start each year thinking I'm past the opportunity to win a Dally M."