Gladstone rugby league hold crisis talks

UPDATE 4pm: 

ONE hundred and fifty rugby league players could have been lost to the game, save for the efforts of Rockhampton president Mick Johns.

Johns and the local competition came to the aid of the Gladstone affiliation, providing a league to play in.

The move came about when the Calliope Roosters announced they would not be able to field an A-grade team, now Brothers, Valleys and Tannum Sands will play in the extended competition.

While the choice for Johns was simple, the process was lengthy, 11 hours worth.

"Imagine if we turned our back on them? That's not what rugby league is about," Johns said.

"There were about 150 guys who might have been lost to the game, and that is the most important thing.

"Our clubs here were very exceptive and excited to play them.

"It was very hard, I sat down for 11 hours and did it all. Took me six hours to do the draw alone, but it is all worthwhile. It is all about the game, we can't put our egos over it."

Round one of the Rockhampton lead will still stand, while the Gladstone teams will start with a point each. Johns believes the new competition will be better off.

"It will definitely help grow the game and benefit the local competition," he said.

"The standard will lift and it will help the Capras too. Their reserve players will have a stronger comp to be involved with.

"There will be many positives from this." 

UPDATE 1pm: 

Tannum Sands Seagulls will have its first away match at Emu Park this weekend as the Gladstone District Rugby League merges with Rockhampton District.

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The changes are yet to be finalised but look to be all but sorted by Gladstone president Richard Duff, Rockhampton president Mick Johns and the clubs' presidents.

The fixtures will change for A-Grade, Reserves and Under 19s.

At this stage it looks as if the A-Grade competition will now go from four teams to nine which will create more interest according to Tannum Seagulls Treasurer Luke Murphy.

"A lot of players drop off during the season (in the old competition) because it doesn't matter if they win or lose, they're already into the finals," he said.

The front rower has played for the seagulls for 13 years and said players were excited at training last night.

"Transport is our only issue and we're just hoping to make it work," he said.

"We're confident we will get more players due to the excitement than we will lose due to the travel."

The club will look to hire buses for the six trips to Rockhampton this year at a cost of $600 a trip.
Luke said if any sponsors wanted to help them out for the $3,600 cost the club would be "open to it".

UPDATE 12pm: 

GLADSTONE rugby league president Richard Duff has confirmed today they will be absorbed into the Rockhampton A-grade competition.

Due to lack of player availability, the Calliope Roosters were unable to field an A-grade side giving the three remaining teams, Valleys, Brothers and Wallabies, play a three-team competition.

That was until Rockhampton rugby league gave them the kiss of life.

Duff said he was overwhelmed at the efforts Rockhampton rugby league president Mick Johns had gone to help out.

"After Calliope pulled out I got in touch with Mick and he has been an absolute champion," Duff said.

"He managed to fit in three teams into the new competition.

"I can't thank him enough for the time and efforts he and his committee have put in on short notice.

"It will be great for Gladstone rugby league."


GLADSTONE Rugby League presidents will decide the future of the competition and a possible merger with Rockhampton tonight -- not even a week after round one.

Calliope Roosters pulled out of A-Grade late last week, leaving just three teams in the highest grade putting pressure on the competition to change. 

Clubs met with the Gladstone District Rugby League on Monday night to go through options on how to run the competition.

The clubs were asked to go back to their players and see what options they have.

But today a Rockhampton Brothers spokesperson said the Gladstone competition was set to join Rockhampton.

The decision won't be able to be made until all the Gladstone clubs have agreed.

More to come. 

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