Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

{KOALAS CLINGING ON} {Koalas Clinging on to Gold Coast Hopes}; but NRRRL Adamant the Tweed Club Will Remain South of the Border

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

{KOALAS CLINGING ON} {Koalas Clinging on to Gold Coast Hopes}; but NRRRL Adamant the Tweed Club Will Remain South of the Border

Article excerpt

Byline: DavID Kirkpatrick sport@northernstar.com.au

THE ridiculous Mexican stand-off between the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League (NRRRL) and break-away club the South Tweed Koalas will be brought to a head tomorrow night as clubs vote on a proposal to split the league into two conferences to save on travel costs.

South Tweed have been included in next year's NRRRL draw but club president John Morris yesterday said he wouldn't attend the meeting and again reinforced his club's commitment to play in Gold Coast Rugby League (GCRL) competition next year.

Even if the rest of the NRRRL clubs endorse the revised draw, as expected tomorrow night, and the Country Rugby League (CRL) writes to the Koalas directing them to play in the competition next season, South Tweed will refuse to accept the referee's decision.

Morris is just as adamant that he has been given the green light to play in the GCRL next year by Australian Rugby League (ARL) board member, Peter Betros.

"The only way to stop us playing in the Gold Coast competition next year is if (ARL chief executive) Geoff Carr stands in front of us as we are about to run out for that first game," Morris said.

"I have nothing against (the NRRRL's) Robin Harley and Doug Harrison, they are a nice bunch of blokes, but we still can't afford to be down there even if we have separate conferences.

"Everything has been processed here and we are in the Gold Coast competition.

"If the CRL try and make that (playing in the NRRRL) happen then you haven't heard nothing yet."

By dividing the competition into north and south conferences, NRRRL president Robin Harley believes the league has adequately addressed South Tweed's concerns about travel costs.

But given this cross-border tug-of-war, why keep a club in the league that obviously doesn't want to be there? …

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