It was a season where some clubs made big improvements, a few struggled, while others continue to impress at the top

TALL ORDER: Marist Brothers front-rower Aidan Kennedy was a strong performer in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League this season. Photo Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus.
TALL ORDER: Marist Brothers front-rower Aidan Kennedy was a strong performer in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League this season. Photo Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus.

Ballina

A strong season for the Seagulls, highlighted by a second-placed finish with many predicting a grand final appearance against Cudgen.

Ballina only lost one game all season with fullback Oliver Regan the highest point scorer in the competition (164) while centre Luke Simpson (22 tries) was the NRRRL top try scorer.

Second-rower Matt Koellner had another brilliant year and was rewarded with a call-up to the Queensland Cup with the Tweed Seagulls.

Byron Bay

A slow start to the year but they were able to match it with the better teams in the second half of the season once they finally had a full complement of players.

Hooker Andrew Battese was outstanding and they were able to bring in a handful of club juniors, which will be beneficial to them next season.

Former NRL player Todd Carney had his best season at the club while Atunaisa Vukaloto was a wrecking ball on the wing.

Casino

Hit hard with injuries from the opening whistle and lost some of those players for most of the season.

The Cougars finished the year on a high with last minute 34-32 win over Byron Bay.

Centre Noah King had a great season covering most positions in the backline while front-rower Josh Beech toiled hard.

Evans Head

Started well and put themselves in the semi-final frame after winning five of their first six games.

A lot to like about the attacking flair they had and a sixth-placed finish is a decent result for the Bombers.

A tough pack of forwards led by the likes of front-rower Jared Waters with some exciting young finishers coming through the ranks in the backline.

Kyogle

Experienced coach Michael Woods took the reins this season with Kyogle one of several clubs who missed 2020 due to the uncertainty of Covid-19.

They fielded a young side without much success but the likes of centre Layne Hardy and halfback Jayden Harley have plenty of ability.

Front-rower Dion Bianchetti gets better each season while centre Sam Nicholson and second-rower Jai Slater were sorely missed after suffering season-ending injuries.

Marist Brothers

One of the most well-rounded teams in the competition and a grand final appearance was not beyond them this year.

They only lost one game to the undefeated Cudgen.

Fullback Hezekiah McKenzie finished the season with 16 tries while second-rowers Isaac Lee and Josh Patston were dominant on the edges with Patston now playing finals with Tweed in the Queensland Cup.

Experienced trio in hooker Paul O'Neill, front-rower Lochie Perren and lock Kyle Kennedy were among their best each week.

Mullumbimby

Started the year with a big forward pack and they were optimistic about their chances for 2021 after an offseason recruitment drive.

However they pulled out of the last month of the competition when injuries and player unavailability caught up to them.

Five-eighth Travis Drought and lock Cody Nelson returned to the club while second-rower Ayden Lee finished the season as captain after some strong showings.

Northern United

Should be a lot more settled next season with Chris Binge back for another season as coach.

United relied on a mix of youth and experience this season with centre Fred Pitt one of its strongest performers.

Winger Allan McKenzie was a notable try scorer while young front-rower Ihaka Savage has plenty of potential.

How Lower Clarence and the Tweed teams fared this season

Cudgen were the standout in first grade, taking the minor premiership and not losing a game.

Halfback Sam Grant steered the team around well while Shannon Green and Caleb Ziebell were dominant in the forwards.

Cudgen were also minor premiers in reserve grade and under-18s in what was a great season for the club.

Murwillumbah and Tweed Coast made the first grade semi-finals while Bilambil finished eighth in a season where they rebuilt around youth.

Former NRL player Michael Gordon was a standout at five-eighth for Tweed Coast.

They got better as the season went on while Murwillumbah were always consistent with a reliable forward pack and young backline.

It was always going to be a tough season for Lower Clarence having not played first grade for a couple of seasons.

They finished with a couple of wins and will be better off next season with coach Carl Press back for a second year.

  • Stay tuned for our NRRRL Team of the Year which will be named online.