New points system is bound to confuse

By TONY WHITE

"IF a club protests against the points system it will be automatically upheld by the Country Rugby League."

That amazing statement comes from Robin Harley, president of the new Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League (NRRRL).

The new points system for the 2005 season ? varying from two to four points for a win ? is one of several controversies erupting.

Fourteen teams will compete in the new NRRRL, combining teams from Group One and Group 18.

At a meeting last month, the 14 clubs and NRRRL officials ratified a draw that has been described as 'messy' and 'convoluted'.

In the opening part of the season each team will pick up two points for a win; in the second part of the 20-round competition, teams that play out of their division ? North and South ? will get four points, while those that play in their division will receive only two points a win the same weekend.

The Northern division comprises Mullumbimby, Byron Bay, South Tweed, Tweed Coast Raiders, Cudgen, Murwillumbah and Seagulls.

The Southern division is made up of Ballina, Marist Brothers, Casino, Kyogle, South Grafton, Grafton Ghosts and Lower Clarence.

The controversial points allocation is not part of the CRL constitution and could open up a Pandora's box if challenged.

"The clubs have agreed to it and we expect them to support their decision," Harley said.

The new season is scheduled to kick off on April 3.



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