Casino five-eighth Trevor Bolt.
Casino five-eighth Trevor Bolt. Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus

Six of the most important NRRRL players in lead-up to semis

THESE are the key players teams can't afford to be without in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League semi-finals.

Oliver Regan, Ballina

Ballina centre Oliver Regan.
Ballina centre Oliver Regan. Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus

The Seagulls are strong across the park and have depth at hooker and most other positions.

However, fullback Oliver Regan has been the shining light this season and it might be the only spot they would struggle to fill if he goes down.

Regan spent more time at centre last year but is a natural fullback having already scored 12 tries this season.

Joe Besgrove, Murwillumbah

Joe Besgrove.
Joe Besgrove. Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus

He captained the Northern Rivers Under-23s this year and is now among the top three hookers in the competition.

Nerve damage in his back has seen him sidelined since June 9 and the Mustangs will need his skill and wit to overcome Ballina in the semi-finals.

They have decent cover in former NRRRL Player of the Year Sam O'Dea and its forward pack is still good enough to roll through most teams in the competition.

Guy Lanston, Tweed Coast

Tweed Coast fullback Guy Lanston.
Tweed Coast fullback Guy Lanston. Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus

Another one on the injured list and someone the Raiders will be desperate to have back in the coming weeks.

Lanston gets the sets going with strong carries from fullback and creates opportunities for the players around him.

Trevor Bolt, Casino

The Cougars will likely finish third and will need to find something extra to overcome Ballina and Murwillumbah.

It should come in the form of five-eighth Trevor Bolt who provides plenty of x-factor.

Casino should be buoyed by the fact that they have arguably the best halves combination in the competition with captain-coach Roy Bell at halfback.

Todd Carney, Byron Bay

Todd Carney.
Todd Carney. Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus

Byron Bay is starting to emerge as a dark horse with the return of Carney who missed six weeks with broken ribs.

The Red Devils have had wins over Casino and Cudgen since his return and will need him healthy to make an impact in finals.

Sam Grant, Cudgen

Samuel Grant.
Samuel Grant. Brad Greenshields

It's forward pack has been decimated by injuries but they are still a chance of sneaking finals.

Halfback Harry Fitzhugh looks good but it will be the experience of five-eighth Sam Grant who will deliver the clutch plays.

The Hornets season could have been done and dusted already if he didn't slot a 79th minute field goal in a 17-16 over Northern United.



Truck, car and caravan collide in highway crash

premium_icon Truck, car and caravan collide in highway crash

A vehicle is believed to have rolled down an embankment

Fires continue to burn across region

premium_icon Fires continue to burn across region

Firefighters are still working to control bushfires