TOP HORNET: Cudgen second-rower Sam Harold will be a key man for the Hornets in the NRRRL grand final Sunday.
TOP HORNET: Cudgen second-rower Sam Harold will be a key man for the Hornets in the NRRRL grand final Sunday. Mike Donnelly

Keys to the premiership in NRRRL

Ballina v Cudgen at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina (Sunday)

Andrew Battese, Oliver Regan, Ballina

Hooker Andrew Battese carried an ankle injury into the major semi-final but was still able to deliver in the key moments.

Fullback Oliver Regan will have plenty to contend with running the ball from kick returns and the Ballina back three can expect to be targeted by Cudgen who are relentless in defence.

The Seagulls have plenty of depth and the likes of centre Dan Gibson, five- eighth Alex Grant and front-rower Dylan Mont- gomery are capable of man- of-the-match performances.

Sam Harrold, Myles Donnelly

Cudgen are spoiled for choice in that they can bring Australian Schoolboys representative Sam Harrold and tough lock Pat Rosser on off the bench.

Harrold could get more minutes depending on the fitness of in-form lock Anthony Flores who has been carrying a hamstring injury. Donnelly never has a bad game at hooker and has plenty of big forwards around him in Simon Kelly, Kobi Mills Josh Sleba and Caleb Ziebell who have been outstanding in the finals.

Mitch's tip, Ballina by 4

Ballina are always hard to beat in finals and have had plenty of swagger and confidence in the way they play the game this season.

Cudgen made the grand final last season and blew Marist Brothers off the park in the preliminary final so they are peaking at the right time. They could get on top of the Ballina forwards but there is enough class in the Seagulls backline to get them home.



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