League draw drama

A GENERAL meeting of Group Three Rugby League tonight will ratify the draw for the 2014 season.

However, it may not be as straight forward as that.

Finding a date for the representative clash between Groups Two and Three and avoiding a clash between the semi-finals and the Taree Gold Cup meeting will cause problems.

A meeting of the North Coast groups last weekend failed to resolve the representative calendar. A combined Group Three and Two side will play in this season's tier 2 Country Rugby League championship.

Group Three had wanted to play the match against Group Two at either Port Macquarie or Wauchope on Saturday, May 3 in first grade, under 18s and 16s. However, the Country Rugby League has determined that the Country under 14 and 15 championships will now be played in Port Macquarie that weekend.

"We can't play representative matches in opposition to them under Country Rugby Leauge rules,'' Group Three secretary Barrie Smith explained.

However, the senior representative match has to be played on or before May 17.

Mr Smith was also working on having the last round of the competition played the weekend of August 16 on the understanding that the Taree Cup would be on Sunday, August 17, as was the case last year. The group is reluctant to play semi-finals in opposition to the cup meeting. This means the grand final would have been set down for Sunday, September 14.

However, he was contacted by Taree-Wingham Race Club last week and informed that the cup meeting will now be Sunday, August 24.

All race dates are determined by Racing NSW.

"So that's another hurdle we have to overcome,'' Mr Smith added.

Mr Smith said the problems associated with the draw aren't of Group Three's making.

"We first did a draw for an eight club competition without Camden Haven. Then we were told to put Camden Haven in after the club appealed to the Country Rugby League,'' he said.

"So we revised the draw accordingly. Then Camden Haven pulled out last week, so it had to be done again.

"Now we can't get a date for the representative match while there's a new date for the Taree Cup.''

Initially the group wanted to start the season on Saturday, April 26.

"I still think that will be the case,'' Mr Smith said.

"However, it will be up to the clubs to decide this week.''

Mr Smith added that booking the Wingham Services Club for the season launch has been a nightmare.

"I think I've booked half a dozen dates so far,'' he said.

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