SCRU assessing options after pullouts
Jan
24
2014
THE Sunshine Coast Rugby Union A-grade competition has been decimated by the withdrawal of two clubs. Caboolture, the 2012 premier, will instead compete in Brisbane, and perennial struggler Fraser Coast is expected to play only in reserve grade. Their departures have left the competition in pieces, with only five teams remaining. SCRU rugby manager Luke Wyatt said: "The draw had initially been done in September and we had a perfect scenario, but now it's in disarray because we've got to restructure.

"It (a five-team competition) doesn't lend itself to a four-team finals series and the draw will be a total re-write in regards to how many games will be played and what the length of the season is. "Five teams aren't going to be too happy about playing each other every couple of weeks."So we're going through other ideas we've got available to us ... but they're very limited." Fraser Coast decided to focus only on reserve grade after struggling for numbers and battling to the wooden spoon.

"If you don't have the class to play A-grade then you can't do it," Mariners coach Sam Potts said. "Trying to facilitate sides for A-grade and reserve grade last year was quite hard and that's why we had to forfeit a few games. If we can get one squad focused on one competition and get some success, then that will hopefully breed a bit of a winning cycle." The Mariners hope to rebuild a stronger foundation at the club and return to A-grade within two years.Caboolture seniors' president Andrew Gibbs said the recent disbanding of the Sunshine Coast's Queensland Premier Grade side, the Stingrays, had influenced the club's decision. "The major reason we're moving is to open pathways for our junior players now that the Stingrays are gone," he said.

"In Brisbane, they've got a rep team in which players will probably be seen a bit easier, to get to a premier team and then go on to play professional football." He added, however: "I can't see the value in that myself. We still have strong representative pathways on the Sunshine Coast through Queensland Country." The SCRU is prepared to have a five-team competition, but will explore all avenues. "One option would be to reconsider Fraser Coast's position and another would be to look at Maleny's situation," Wyatt said.

Maleny was impressive in reserve grade last year, but Wyatt said it might be risky to promote the Bushrangers. "They had success last year, but they had a very young team and to take them up too early could be damaging," he said. "You're fixing a short-term problem but could be making a long-term problem."

Clubs on the north side of Brisbane had been considered, but Wyatt said he did not think that would be viable. "Longer term we may be looking at other clubs like (Kawana-based junior club) Brothers, who are travelling very well," Wyatt said. "I'm not saying they have aspirations to play A-grade, but I think it would be a natural progression. "It's a long-term proposition."

Steele Taylor

Sunshine Coast Daily

Full Article: http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/scru-assessing-options-after-pullouts-coasts-comp-/2149150/

 

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