SIMPLY THE BEST: (Clockwise from top left) Lachie Miller, Mitchell Lollback, Shayde Perham, Jay Melrose, Matt Cheeseman and Grant Stevens have all been voted into the Group 2 Team of the Decade by the clubs.
SIMPLY THE BEST: (Clockwise from top left) Lachie Miller, Mitchell Lollback, Shayde Perham, Jay Melrose, Matt Cheeseman and Grant Stevens have all been voted into the Group 2 Team of the Decade by the clubs. FILE

EXCLUSIVE: Group 2 Team of the Decade as voted by the clubs

WHAT a decade of rugby league on the North Coast.

To honour the players who shined in the Group 2 competition over the past 10 years, we've asked all clubs to nominate the 13 best players they thought graced the field from 2010-2019.

We've counted up the votes and come up with a pretty handy side.

So here it is, the Group 2 Team of the Decade:

1. Mitchell Lollback - Grafton Ghosts

Lollback has been Mr Consistent for the Ghosts throughout his career and a major reason why the club has had so much success since joining the Group 2 competition in 2014.

The 27-year-old is still at the peak of his powers and was a big part of the Ghosts premiership success in 2019.

2. Mitchell Gorman - Grafton Ghosts

One of the premier finishers in Group 2, Gorman is also a fierce competitor and doesn't take a backwards step on the field, no matter who wants a piece of him.

Well respected by his rivals, Gorman is the type of winger teams love to have on their flank.

Mitchell Gorman is one of Group 2's premier flyers.
Mitchell Gorman is one of Group 2's premier flyers. FILE

3. Dylan Collett - Grafton Ghosts

With a six-try performance in the grand final still fresh in the memory of those voting, it's no wonder Collett polled strongly to take a spot in the centres. 

Still in his early 20s, Collett has proved to be a classy and polished centre during his time in the top grade. 

4. Jay Melrose - South Grafton Rebels, Nambucca Heads Roosters

Dubbed a 'super centre' at the top of his game, Melrose won the Rex Hardaker Memorial Award for being the Group 2 Player of the Year in 2015. 

Melrose also took out most tries and the best and fairest award that same year, undoubtedly Melrose's best season in a stop-start career.

5. Shayde Perham - Coffs Harbour Comets, Orara Valley Axemen, Woolgoolga Seahorses

One of the hardest players in the competition to tackle, Perham can fill any number of positions in the back third and runs the ball with intent every time he has it.

Was a standout in 2019 for the resurgent Woolgoolga Seahorses and will be integral once more next year if the side have dreams of finals footy. 

6. Lachlan Miller - Sawtell Panthers

With plenty of buzz around the region when a young Miller burst onto the scene, the lightning quick playmaker certainly lived up to the hype.  

Miller is now a rugby union international, representing Australia on the world 7s stage.

7. Nathan Curry - Coffs Harbour Comets

Having moved to the region from Newcastle, Curry has been at the heart of the Comets for the past seven seasons.  

A brilliant goal kicker, ball player and defender, Curry can handle numerous positions and was the overwhelming selection as the best halfback of the last 10 years.

Nathan Curry gets the job done at halfback or fullback.
Nathan Curry gets the job done at halfback or fullback. FILE

8. Matt Cheeseman - Coffs Harbour Comets

One of the best players in the competition, Cheeseman came off the bench for the Comets in 2019 but was still just as destructive.

A veteran of the Coffs side, Cheeseman is an uncompromising front-rower who can scatter defenders and generate a quick play the ball to get his team on the front foot.

9. Todd Cameron - Grafton Ghosts

Much like Lollback, Cameron has been a model of consistency in the Ghosts' spine for a number of years.

The world's most powerful engine would be wasted in a car without a steering wheel, and Cameron has been able to give direction and leadership to the Grafton pack since he's had the nine on his back.  

10. Danny Wicks - Grafton Ghosts

Arguably the face of Group 2 since his return from the NRL, Wicks has been immense in his captain-coaching role at Grafton.

The former Dragon, Knight and Eel will turn 34 in December but doesn't play like man winding down, laying the platform for the Ghosts' rout in the early stages of this year's grand final.

Danny Wicks has been immense for the Grafton Ghosts since returning from the NRL.
Danny Wicks has been immense for the Grafton Ghosts since returning from the NRL. FILE

11. Grant Stevens - South Grafton Rebels

Still one of the best second rowers in Group 2, Stevens has been a leader at the Rebels for eight years and was at the helm when they won back-to-back premierships in 2015 and 2016.

The heart and soul of the club who leaves it all on the field in every match.   

12. Ben McLennan - Grafton Ghosts

Retired on a high after this year's grand final, McLennan has been a machine for the Ghosts for the entirety of the decade.

A former captain of the club, McLennan retires at the age of 30 having achieved everything a player can.  

13. Steven Spencer - Woolgoolga Seahorses, Sawtell Panthers, Coffs Harbour Comets

The reigning Group 2 best and fairest, Spencer had arguably the greatest year of his career in 2019 for the Comets.

Co-coaching alongside Vaughn Dawes, Spencer was a big reason the Comets claimed the minor premiership and has been one of the league's best forwards for some time.

Steve Spencer is one of the hardest working players in Group 2.
Steve Spencer is one of the hardest working players in Group 2. FILE

 

14. Sam Miles - Macksville Sea Eagles

Just missed out on a start in the backrow, Miles has been a mainstay in the Sea Eagles' pack for the majority of the decade.

15. Adam Slater - Woolgoolga Seahorses, Grafton Ghosts

Not the biggest front-rower in the competition but that counts for little as Slater's work rate, toughness and longevity make him a force in the middle third. 

16. Ryan Binge - Grafton Ghosts 

A powerhouse in Clarence Valley rugby league for many years, Binge was a key figure for the Ghosts in the middle part of the decade.

17. Hugh Stanley - South Grafton Rebels

Skilful five-eighth with great playmaking ability and a tidy kicking game, Stanley was the linchpin of the great Rebels' sides which won the competition in 2015 and 2016 and is still a leader of the team.

Hugh Stanley has been the creative force for South Grafton.
Hugh Stanley has been the creative force for South Grafton. FILE

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

These players received votes but missed out on selection in the final side: Cameron Blair, Peter Uikelotu, Nathan Davies, Dale Middleton, Rohan London, Luke Beaumont, Louie Taylor, Michael Hart, Chris Carr, Thomas McGrady, Abel Lefaoseu, Andrew Budd, Geoff Batten, Ryan Gill, Billy Griffiths, Mal Webster, Brad Collinson, Jeremy Wood, Eddie Harrision, AJ Gilbert, Cody Berry, Ryan Binge, Andrew Smith, Callan Tapine, Jeremy Burrows, Matthew Field, Alfred Penese and Alex Hull. 



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