Byron Bay and former Ballina hooker Andrew Battese earned top spot in the NRRRL top 10 players of the decade. Photo Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus
Byron Bay and former Ballina hooker Andrew Battese earned top spot in the NRRRL top 10 players of the decade. Photo Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus

REVEALED: Top 10 players of the decade in NRRRL

WE NAME the best 10 players from Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League.

Rugby league Casino Cougars Corey Torrens takes a sensational bomb from Northern.
Rugby league Casino Cougars Corey Torrens takes a sensational bomb from Northern. Brian Olive

10 - Corey Torrens, Casino/Northern United

One of the most naturally talented players in the competition and he was almost impossible to stop when he was at his best.

Like most others on this list he could play a number of positions on the field but was most dangerous at fullback.

Marist Brothers hooker Paul O'Neill in NRRRL.
Marist Brothers hooker Paul O'Neill in NRRRL. Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus

9 - Paul O'Neill, Ballina/Marist Brothers

The ironman on this list having hardly missed any games since making a home at Marist Brothers in 2011.

He showed plenty of character last season by playing some of his best football with the team struggling in one of its toughest years.

COVID-19 NEWS: The key to getting NRRRL teams back on the field

 

Group 2 rugby league grand final between Grafton Ghosts and Coffs Comets at Frank McGuren Park Grafton on Sunday 23rd August 2014. Ghosts Aaron Hartmann. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner
Group 2 rugby league grand final between Grafton Ghosts and Coffs Comets at Frank McGuren Park Grafton on Sunday 23rd August 2014. Ghosts Aaron Hartmann. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner Debrah Novak

8 - Aaron Hartmann, Grafton Ghosts

Grafton Ghosts were a dominate force in NRRRL between 2010-2013 and most of it was spearheaded by the ability of second-rower Aaron Hartmann.

Fullback Anthony Don was brilliant when they won undefeated in 2010 while Hartmann stuck around to lead them to back-to-back grand final wins and a Group 2 premiership in 2014.

 

Casino five-eighth Trevor Bolt in NRRRL. The competition will not start until at least May.
Casino five-eighth Trevor Bolt in NRRRL. The competition will not start until at least May. Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus

7 - Trevor Bolt, Casino/Evans Head

Match-winning ability with his running game and creates try-scoring opportunities for himself and others around him with an astute kicking game.

Bolt has reached preliminary finals with Casino and Evans Head with the Bombers expecting big things with his return to the club this season.

Northern United player Alwyn Roberts during the game against Cudgen at Crozier Field in Lismore. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Northern United player Alwyn Roberts during the game against Cudgen at Crozier Field in Lismore. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

 

6 - Alwyn Roberts, Ballina/Northern United

Worth his weight in gold when his team needs a lift, making countless tackles and hit-ups during his time in the competition.

A standout in premiership-winning teams at Ballina which were stacked with talent in 2013 and 2014.

Roy Bell on the run for the Casino Cougars in NRRRL.
Roy Bell on the run for the Casino Cougars in NRRRL. Brian Olive

5 - Roy Bell, Casino/Mullumbimby/Northern United

Came into the competition as a livewire fullback and developed into a classy organiser at halfback.

There is no coincidence every team he has played in has gone on to play semi-finals.

Jack Durheim playing for Ballina against the Tweed Coast Raiders in an NRRRL game at Cabarita.
Jack Durheim playing for Ballina against the Tweed Coast Raiders in an NRRRL game at Cabarita. Mitchell Craig

 

4 - Jack Durheim, Ballina/Marist Brothers

A hard-worker who was an obvious standout at Marist Brothers and was one of the best pick-ups of the season for Ballina last year.

Durheim has a good set of hands and his consistently been one of the fittest forwards in the competition.

Cudgen Hornets front-rower Caleb Ziebell goes on the attack
Cudgen Hornets front-rower Caleb Ziebell goes on the attack Mike Donelly

3 - Caleb Ziebell, Cudgen

Rare when a player can be the best on ground in a losing grand final but that is what happened when Cudgen went down to Ballina in 2017.

A special talent who has represented NSW Country in cricket and rugby league.

Byron Bay front-rower Dylan Montgomery on the run in NRRRL.
Byron Bay front-rower Dylan Montgomery on the run in NRRRL. Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus

2 - Dylan Montgomery, Ballina/Byron Bay

A driving force at Ballina and helped turn the tide when the club broke a 20-year premierships drought in 2013.

Some of his bulldozing runs between 2013-2015 will go down in folklore while the Seagulls finished the decade as the most dominate team in the competition with five premierships.

Ballina hooker Andrew Battese has won the NRRRL Player of the Year award.
Ballina hooker Andrew Battese has won the NRRRL Player of the Year award. Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus

1 - Andrew Battese, Ballina/Byron Bay

 

Three premierships and two NRRRL Player of the year awards during his time at Ballina.

Battese can win a game with his running ability from dummy half with pinpoint kicking and plenty of other tricks in his skill set.