SEASON OVER: Ballina junior Mitchell Aubusson fell one games short of playing in the NRL grand final with the Sydney Roosters.
SEASON OVER: Ballina junior Mitchell Aubusson fell one games short of playing in the NRL grand final with the Sydney Roosters. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Northern Rivers stars of the NRL season

Mitchell Aubusson, Ballina Seagulls, Sydney Roosters

Fell one game short of playing in a third grand final after the Sydney Roosters 23-16 loss against the North Queensland Cowboys in the preliminary final on Saturday night.

He played his first grand final in 2010 in a losing effort against the Dragons before winning a premiership in 2013 when the Roosters beat Manly.

It was another consistent season for Aubusson who captained Country against City and the Roosters team that won the Auckland Nines preseason tournament.

Brian Kelly, Ballina Seagulls, Manly Sea Eagles

Scored a try in his NRL debut in the first round against Parramatta and went on to play 23 games at Manly.

He was dropped to reserve grade for a few games in August but returned to the centres to play the last four games of the season.

Kelly got a taste of the finals in a 22-10 loss against Penrith in the first week and has recently been playing for Cabbage Tree Island in knockout carnivals in Lismore and Sydney.

David Mead, Marist Brothers, Brisbane Broncos

Struggled to get a run at Brisbane after eight years of consistent performances at the Gold Coast Titans.

He did have good players ahead of him at the Broncos including Ballina junior James Roberts in the centres but managed to get a spot on the wing by the sixth round against the Roosters.

Mead floated between wing and the interchange bench for the rest of the season and was not selected in the preliminary final team who went down 30-0 against Melbourne on Friday night.

Tyrone Roberts, Ballina Seagulls, Gold Coast Titans

Primarily a halfback who ended up playing five different positions in a Titans team which struggled with injuries this season.

Roberts started the year at hooker before moving on to fullback and ending up back in the halves at five-eighth.

Premiership-winning Grafton Ghosts fullback Anthony Don suffered a dislocated shoulder earlier in the season but went on to have his best year in the NRL since his debut in 2013.

Cody Walker, Casino Cougars, South Sydney

Had a great start to the season and was one of the Rabbitohs best players in the halves with nine linebreaks and 11 try assists at the midway point of the season.

Walker suffered a dip in form when he moved to fullback and also had contract drama with the club.

He returned to the five-eighth position for the back end of the season where re-found form in a struggling side.



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