Beerwah against Kawana rugby league match at Beerwah Sport Ground last year .Kawana forward Ayden Devery runs into the defence. PHOTO: Warren Lynam
Beerwah against Kawana rugby league match at Beerwah Sport Ground last year .Kawana forward Ayden Devery runs into the defence. PHOTO: Warren Lynam

Hopes dashed: Officials cancel A-grade season

RUGBY  LEAGUE: With the senior season officially cancelled, Rugby League Sunshine Coast president Glenn Peatling has urged clubs to rally ­behind their junior ranks.

After weeks of hard work and deliberation, a lack of numbers forced Rugby League Sunshine Coast to pull the pin on getting an A-grade season off the ground.

The association made the announcement yesterday afternoon, a week after putting forward a proposal to clubs which involved teams playing at  the Sunshine Coast Stadium precinct with options to return to home grounds as COVID-19 restrictions eased.

However, it wasn't to be, with many clubs unable to commit to the plans.

"Out of our nine clubs with A-grade teams, six teams decided not to nominate teams this year due to various reasons," board director of PR and Media Jodi Price said in a press release.

It's understood those included Stanley River, Maroochydore, Caboolture, Gympie, Nambour and Kawana.

Meanwhile, Caloundra and Beerwah had voiced strong support of getting a competition off the ground.

Price said several reasons had forced clubs not to nominate, including finances, health concerns for players and volunteers, volunteer requirements and the late timing of the season finish.

She said one A-grade team had nominated not to play unless it was under a home-and-away format.

It is understood that club was Noosa.

President Peatling was disappointed not to have a seniors competition in 2020, but said the association had done all it  could.

"It's definitely sad, but I always said I'd respect the clubs' decisions as to whether they could forge ahead or not," he said.

"At the end of day we've just got to be happy with the board's actions and thoughts and that we tried every ­possible avenue including ­trying to make it as cost neutral for the clubs as possible with the current Stage two restrictions and no sort of idea as to when Stage three may be fixed or upgraded or changed."

Price said there had been plenty of innovative ideas flow in over the past week.

With the senior season quashed for the year,  Peatling said that it was important clubs backed their junior ranks.

"I think the big thing from a senior point of view is that we get on board and support our juniors," he said. 

"I think at this stage they're moving forward with U13-U16 plans and still sitting and finding out about U6-U12.

"The best thing seniors (can do) is to go back and ask how they can help out at a junior level whether it be volunteering or just helping out in some way to strengthen what they're trying to do."

Price  thanked major sponsors Niall and Linda Maudsley of  Maudsley Excavations for their continued support of the game, along with Sunshine Coast Council, media partners, referees and Falcons CEO Chris Flannery.

"Thank you to all of our clubs in our SCGRL Senior competition for your assistance and valued feedback over the last few weeks and for your continued support of the Sunshine Coast and to all of our players who have been anxiously awaiting a decision," she said.

Price also praised Adam Kruger from Caloundra Sharks Rugby League and Shannan Roy from Beerwah Bulldogs for their support and offering of ideas.

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