Grafton’s Khan Williams remonstrates with his Murwillumbah opponent after a heavy tackle in the NRRRL 1st grade grand final at Frank McGuren Field.
Grafton’s Khan Williams remonstrates with his Murwillumbah opponent after a heavy tackle in the NRRRL 1st grade grand final at Frank McGuren Field. Adam Hourigan

Mustangs border issue

COUNTRY Rugby League chief executive Terry Quinn has admitted Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League bungled the Khan Williams citing, as the saga over where the Tweed rugby league clubs should play football took a new twist.

Quinn said yesterday the CRL would consider a proposal to make the state border a boundary for rugby league competitions, after being urged to do so by the Murwillumbah Mustangs.

The Mustangs want the CRL to stop Tweed's other two NRRRL teams, Cudgen Hornets and Tweed Coast Raiders, from moving to the Gold Coast Rugby League, in an effort to get the old Gold Coast Group 18 competition back up and running.

If the NSW-based Gold Coast rugby league clubs, including the reigning Bycroft Cup premiers Bilambil Jets, plus South Tweed Koalas and Tweed Heads Seagulls, can be convinced, or even forced, to participate in the NRRRL, there would be enough clubs for two Northern Rivers competitions, and travel requirements for all clubs could be cut significantly.

The Mustangs met at the Court-house Hotel, where the club was given a strong mandate to remain in the NRRRL by its supporters and players, despite the numerous grievances the club has with the competition's administration.

The Raiders held a similar meeting last night, and the Hornets meet tomorrow, with Quinn to attend both.

"It was quite an open and frank meeting, and we got some issues out in the open," Quinn said of the Murwillumbah meeting.

"One of the things that did come out of it was that Murwillumbah wanted the CRL to enforce the border to be the border and refuse permission for Cudgen or Tweed Coast to play in the Gold Coast competition.

"It is going to be a tough one, which will go to the ARL for the final decision.

"I will have a meeting with the CRL management next week, and also discuss the issue with Peter Betros from the QRL."

Quinn said if the Jets, Seagulls and Koalas left the GCRL there would be enough teams for two pools, or competitions, on the Northern Rivers, and therefore travel for games would be reduced.

"The idea of the pool competition, put up in the conference, will hopefully entice those guys to start playing on the New South Wales side of the border," Quinn said.

"If they come back into it, we will look at two distinct competitions in the Northern Rivers."

Meanwhile, Quinn said the NRRRL got the decision wrong on the Williams citing.

The Grafton Ghosts player's shoulder came in contact with Mustangs fullback Michael Ashburn's face, and broke his jaw, in the penultimate round of the season.

Murwillumbah paid to have the incident cited, but the judiciary bizarrely threw the case out.

"That is one of their major concerns," Quinn said.

"It should have gone to the judiciary stage and not been thrown out before it got there."



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