Battese well on the way to being Player of the Year
BALLINA hooker Andrew Battese is well on his way to winning another Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League player of the year award.
Battese won it in 2012 and was well in the mix last year before Murwillumbah hooker Sam O'Dea finished 10 points clear of him.
Battese is already on 28 points after eight rounds of the competition.
O'Dea is the next closest on 18 points with Ballina front-rower Robby Miles on 16.
Despite winning the award last year O'Dea was left out of the Northern Rivers representative side in favour of Battese in 2013.
It came back to bite them as Battese was injured early in the first game at the NSW Country Championships without a hooker on the bench.
O'Dea forced his way back into the side this year claiming a bench spot.
Elsewhere, Casino has two players in the top 10: Todd Johnson and Corey Torrens.
Johnson has benefited from having some better players around him this season while Torrens is always a standout no matter where he plays in the backline.
Kyogle front-rowers Scott Lavelle and Mat Cam
eron are on nine and eight points respectively.
Lavelle came close to winning the player of the year award last year in what the veteran thought might have been his final season.
Cameron has added extra grunt to the Turkeys this year and has Queensland Cup experience with Ipswich and Souths Logan.
Northern United halfback Willie Hammond has had a strong start to the season and has picked up seven points.
He was named player of the match in the indigenous Timber Cup in Lismore last weekend.
Mullumbimby pair Chase Nelson and Jacob Wood round out the top 10 tied on six points.