Rhinos charge on
By JENNIFER HUXLEY
THE purple rhino in the corner of Grafton rugby league has become a reality.
A Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League committee meeting on Monday night ratified the Grafton City Rhinos' application to have their colours and name accepted into the competition.
NRRRL president Robin Harley said the vote proceeded with 'surprisingly little' discussion between the clubs.
Seal of approval
Gaining the seal of approval for their name and colours from the general meeting was the last stumbling block the Rhinos had to overcome before fully gearing up for the 2008 season.
With their identity confirmed, Rhinos president Danny Scott said the club was 'ready to rock'n'roll'.
"It all went off without a hitch we'll be playing as the Grafton Rhinos in the purple and gold. Now we can move on and concentrate on playing the game," he said.
"The vote at the meeting was 16-10 in our favour. The feeling in the NRRRL seems to be very strong and we're gathering more and more support as time goes on.
"We have paid off the Rebels' debts to the NRRRL, now we're in the black and are ready to rock'n'roll."
Scott said the club was working hard to broaden the appeal of the game, encompassing all family members in match day plans.
"We're trying to bring back the tradition of rugby league as a good day out for the whole family. It's not just about the men playing the game, it's about the kids and the families having fun on the sidelines as well," he said.
"For our first game we're looking at having a jumping castle for the kids and getting a DJ to provide entertainment at half time and in between matches."
The Rhinos' entry into the NRRRL competition has been a convoluted one.
On November 14 both the Rhinos and the South Grafton Rebels' applications to be included in the 2008 NRRRL season were knocked back, leaving the Grafton Ghosts as the sole rugby league club in Grafton.
As a club competing in the 2007 competition, the Rebels were able to appeal to NSW Country Rugby League (NSW CRL) to reverse the NRRRL's decision.
After hearing the appeal, the NSW CRL announced its decision on December 5 that both the Grafton Ghosts and an amalgamated club of the Rebels and the Rhinos would play in the 2008 Northern League.