Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Cross-Border Tug-of-War over Koalas

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Cross-Border Tug-of-War over Koalas

Article excerpt

Byline: ADAM HICKS adam.hicks@sport.com.au

THE South Tweed saga intensified further yesterday with the Country Rugby League officially challenging the club's move to leave the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League.

CRL chief executive officer Terry Quinn confirmed he had referred the matter to the Australian Rugby League.

"The CRL will not support the move of South Tweed to the Gold Coast competition," he said.

"It will have to go to the ARL for their adjudication.

"My executives are adamant that we challenge it.

"We believe there is a better competition on offer for them (here) now."

But Queensland Rugby League South-East chairman Peter Betros said it was purely about South Tweed remaining financially viable.

"If you asked anyone attached to the club, their only hope of surviving is on the Gold Coast," Betros said.

"One more year of playing in the NRRRL and they'll be broke and no longer exist."

Quinn said next season's split draw, as voted in by the NRRRL this week, negated South Tweed's need to move.

"With the new revised pool competition (the split draw), it allays all the fears they have with travel, sponsorship and player retention," Quinn said.

"Under the new draw, they'd only travel to Grafton once and Maclean once and the rest are no further than to Ballina.

"The majority of their trips are less than 30 minutes.

"We believe there is a better competition on offer for them now.

"It's stronger (than the Gold Coast) for the players, with less travel."

South Tweed president John Morris did not want to comment.

But Betros said the split draw did not solve the club's financial woes.

"I'm sure they'd like to stay if it was viable but it's not viable any more," he said.

"They were on the verge of bankruptcy. They had a full meeting and all their people agreed to come and join the Gold Coast. …

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