Rainbow Dragons Abreast, the Men of League Foundation and Grafton Ghosts were the big winners as the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League launched its season in style at the Ballina RSL Club on Friday night.

Men of League and Dragons Abreast were presented with donations, proceeds from the inaugural Ballina RSL Charity Shield pre-season competition.

On hand to accept the cheques were Men of League Foundation national vice-president Jim Hall and Veda Dorrough from Rainbow Dragons Abreast.

Ghosts coach Col Speed was presented with the Charity Shield after their win over Ballina Seagulls in the final last Sunday.

Also in attendance were Gold Coast Titans coach John Cartwright and player David Mead, formerly of Lismore.

The night opened with a Welcome to Country by Aboriginal Elder Lewis Cook, followed by addresses from Jim Hall and Veda Dorrough.

The NRRRL’s Under-18 Northern Thunderbolt representative players were presented with their jerseys, there was a talk by former England league player Mark Edmondson, and NRRRL president Robin Harley introduced the NRRRL coaches for the 2010 season.

During his talk, Mr Hall, a former National Rugby League judiciary chairman, predicted that Melbourne Storm would survive the current salary cap scandal.

He pointed out that the Canterbury Bulldogs won a premiership two years after having their season’s points docked for breaching the salary cap.

PICTURES: Bill Coulter (Ballina RSL Club), Grafton Ghosts coach Col Speed and Ghosts president Michael Rogan with the Charity Shield.
NRRRL president Robin Harley, Veda Dorrough (Rainbow Dragons Abreast), Men of League Foundation national vice-president Jim Hall and NRRRL treasurer Garry Williams.
Member for Lismore and Men of League Northern Rivers Division member Thomas George, John Cartwright, David Mead and former Gold Coast player Tony Durheim, of Lismore.