Grafton Rhinos set to join NRRRL competition
By JENNIFER HUXLEY and DARREN MONCRIEFF
TWO rugby league teams will represent Grafton in the 2008 Northern League competition, a Country Rugby League New South Wales (CRL NSW) committee has determined.
The committee met in Grafton late last month to hear the South Grafton Rebels appeal following their exclusion from the Northern League at the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League (NRRRL) AGM.
Yesterday, the committee decided that the Grafton Ghosts and an amalgamated club of the South Grafton Rebels and Grafton Rhinos would play in the competition next season.
However, while NRRRL president Robin Harley said the league accepts CRL's decision.to include South Grafton in the competition, he said he was "disappointed that a single club in Grafton wasn't given a chance to work".
We do have a right of appeal against this decision," Harley said, "but we won't take it up as that won't be heard until January (2008).
We will just go with what's been decided and produce a draw with the two Grafton clubs and get on with life.
(And) if the Rhinos want to join the competition, they have to join the Rebels."
CRL NSW president and committee chair Warren Kimberley said the committee found the motion made at the AGM that led to the Rebels being given the boot from the competition was incorrect.
He said they had also identified a need for two clubs in the town to provide pathways for the development of the 252 players registered with the towns two junior clubs.
There were circumstances that led to a wrong motion being carried at the AGM," Kimberley said.
The motion stated that all clubs that participated in 2007 be accepted in to the 2008 competition with the exception of Grafton Ghosts and South Grafton, and that only one team be accepted from the Grafton area; carried, it was felt to be incorrect in its current form as it dealt with two matters.
After hearing all the facts we felt that in the future there may be one club for Grafton but that now was not the time."
Rhinos president Danny Scott said he was relieved at the decision and was keen to finalise the creation of a new club with the Rebels.
A lot of people breathed a huge sigh of relief when the decision was announced; things were getting a bit tense around town," he said.
We have 68 players signed at the moment so things are looking pretty good for us.
Scott said the new entity would assume the name and colours of the Grafton Rhinos and would use McKittrick Park as their home ground.