Over the last few weeks, Canberra Region Rugby League has named its Team of the Year in steady increments.
After a strong year which saw the Goulburn Bulldogs make the grand final, it was perhaps unsurprising that two of the Cornish brothers earned one last accolade.
Nicholas and Mitchell Cornish were named as the CRRL's halfback and five-eighth respectively, which reflected exactly how crucial the pair were in those positions.
"It's something over the last couple of years where we've had a fair bit of change throughout our side," Bulldogs coach Adam Kyle said.
"But we had Mitchell and Nicholas in at number six and seven every week. At the level we're playing at, to have a consistent six and seven in your team is very, very important.
"As brothers, the combination that they've got, they really play off each other well."
Places in the CRRL's team of the year were foreshadowed by the pair's Les McIntyre Medal tallies.
In August, Mitchell was named the 2019 McIntyre Medalist, which recognised the enormous contribution he had made to the Bulldogs throughout the year.
On 21 points, he was the clear winner, but Nicholas amassed 13 points to finish fourth on the count.
"I wasn't surprised at all with either of those boys making the team of the year," Kyle said.
"They were both in the final of the McIntyre Medal and very well deserved, and were two very key players for us throughout the season."
Though the awards are not what players aim for, Nicholas was pleased to find his and Mitchell's name on the list.
"It's obviously good to see, but that's not what we're there to play for," Nicholas said. "It's always a good personal achievement."
The youngest of the Cornish brothers, Nicholas said having both of his brothers in such close proximity was a huge factor in the success of his season.
"They're both very good at talking and organising, which helps me," he said.
"We've been playing together forever, so we know how the others play.
"A lot of [their results] comes down to, we put in a lot of work in the off season, but Mitchell and Tyler push the team a lot. They helped me massively, especially having Mitchell on the field in the other half position."
While Mitchell and Nicholas were the only Bulldogs named in the side, Tyler also made the shortlist for the fullback position.
The middle Cornish brother was injured early in the 2019 season and sat out most of the year with a broken jaw, but his impact in the games he did play was resounding.
"Tyler was in for a massive season, and we could see how much our team dynamic changed when he came back," Kyle said.
"It was such a big loss for us to lose him for that early part of the season.
"That just shows how classy and how good a player he is, for someone to have played a quarter or half the season to be nominated for Team of the Year just shows how valuable he is to us."
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