Group Three Rugby League competition could be extended a week

THE Group Three Rugby League competition could be put back a week.

This will be discussed at a general meeting of the group's general committee on Wednesday night at the Wingham Services Club.

The problem is finding a date for the deferred Forster-Tuncurry/Taree City clash now set down for Saturday.

As previously reported, the game was originally to be played on Saturday, June 21.

However, the group switched games to the Sunday because North Coast featured in the Country championship final on the Saturday.

Because of a lack of referees it was then decided to play the Bulls-Hawks game on the Saturday as neither side had players in the representative fixture. But Forster protested that they wouldn't have enough players on the Saturday.

The Bulls said they would have trouble getting sides if the game went back to the Sunday.

July 5 is part of Group Three's split round. The Bulls now say they won't have players as originally the club wasn't drawn to play that weekend and a number will be going away. Taree City president Mal Dixon yesterday confirmed that is still the case.

"They say they won't be able to field teams in any grade,'' Group Three secretary Barrie Smith said.

Mr Smith added there's no more spare weekends in the draw. He said the possibility of extending the competition by a week will be discussed tonight to allow for a free weekend for the game to be played. This would mean the grand final will be on Sunday, September 14.

However, the final decision will be up to the clubs.

Mal Dixon has suggested the games be played over two Wednesday evenings, with two matches each night. This will also be discussed tonight.

However, as there's no lights at Taree's headquarters, the Jack Neal Oval, the Bulls would have to move the match to either Wingham or even Tuncurry.

Mr Dixon said his club is also concerned about the possible loss of revenue by playing mid-week.

Meanwhile the group will also check the accreditation of five coaches tonight, one in first grade, one in reserves and three in under 18s. If it is found the coaches accreditation isn't current then their teams won't be playing for competition points until this is rectified.

Mr Smith said all coaches claim they do have current accreditation.

However, he says this doesn't show on the data base.

The coaches have until tonight to prove their accreditations are current.

"If that is the case and they are accredited, then we have a glitch in the system,'' Mr Smith said.