Group Three rules out Kempsey as grand final venue

THE Group Three Rugby League grand final will not be played at Kempsey even if Macleay Valley Mustangs qualify to host the match.

The group management informed Macleay's officials of the decision at a general meeting this week.

Group Three secretary Barrie Smith said the management considers that the Verge Street Oval ground isn't adequate to play a grand final.

Mr Smith said the lack of parking is the main concern along with small dressing sheds and general lack of space in the ground.

He said the Macleay officials 'weren't very impressed' at the decision. However, Mr Smith added the group also won't play a grand final at Old Bar because of concerns about amenities.

"If Macleay is the host club the grand final will be played at a neutral ground. They'll be given a couple of options as to where the game will be played,'' Mr Smith said.

The club that wins the major semi-final hosts the grand final.

Macleay joined Group Three this year from Group Two. The club currently leads the first and reserve grade competitions.

However, Mr Smith added there was never a Group Two grand final played at Kempsey.

He said the club will still have full catering rights for grand final day. The Mustangs don't sell alcohol at their home games and Mr Smith said this would be the case on grand final day if the club doesn't seek a liquor licence. The club would also need qualified staff to run the bar areas.

Meanwhile Macleay's first grade coach Willy Lockwood and under 18 coach Richard Roberts will have to complete accreditation before they can sit on the bench and work interchange with their sides. Failure to comply with this would mean the sides would not be playing for competition points. Lockwood is booked in to attend a coaching seminar on Thursday July 10 while Roberts only has to complete an on-line module to fulfil his accreditation.

Mr Smith said all other coaches in Group Three are full accredited.