NRRRL splits into 2 clusters
MURWILLUMBAH Mustangs will host Byron Bay Red Devils in the opening round of the 2012 Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition.
The Red Devils only fielded a reserve grade side in 2011 but club officials have assured the Mustangs that there will be three games played at Stan Sercombe Oval on April 16, ensuring an expected big crowd will have a full afternoon of football.
In other games to usher in the new season, Grafton Rhinos and Grafton Ghosts clash in a local derby, Lower Clarence host Kyogle, Evans Head and Casino match-up down on the coast, Northern United and Marist Brothers do battle at Lismore and Mullumbimby are at home to Ballina.
The 2012 season will be played over three rounds and the competition has been split into two clusters - north and south.
The six teams in each cluster will play each over in the first and third rounds and tackle the teams from the other cluster in the middle round.
The Mustangs are in the north cluster along with Mullumbimby, Byron Bay, Ballina, Marist Brothers and Northern United while the members of the south cluster are Grafton Rhinos, Grafton Ghosts, Lower Clarence, Kyogle, Evans Head and Casino.
The idea of the move to the cluster system is to reduce travelling time on match days for all teams across the competition.
In other news, the NRRRL has decided not to conduct a pre-season competition due to the lack of teams wanting to become involved - some coaches preferred to have trial fixtures against clubs from outside the NRRRL.