Extended rugby league season shortened

By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au

A SHORTENED Extended League season looks set to be the answer for the Gladstone and District Rugby League clubs after a meeting of the executive committee on Wednesday night.

All five GDRL clubs voted in favour of the draft changes to the CQ Extended League format which would be reduced from an 18-round season to a nine-round year.

The reduction in matches would be compensated by the local premiership which would be contested after the conclusion of the Extended League competition.

Under the draft plan, teams in the Extended League would play each other once, rather than the current twice resulting in less travel for the Gladstone-based clubs.

GDRL secretary Peter White has backed the draft plan, saying there are a number of benefits to CQ rugby league.

"The plan has the best of both worlds, because there would still be an Extended League competition,' White said.

'It would also result in less travel, with just two away trips for each side per season and that has been one of the drawbacks for most clubs.'

White added the draft plan is a step in the right direction and that the best players in Central Queensland would have the opportunity to test themselves by playing each other.

'The Gladstone league has three of the top five teams in the A grade Extended League at the moment.

'This format is a compromise and even though it is still to be voted upon, it is in my opinion a step in the right direction in addressing the current problems,' he said.

All five GDRL clubs would need to field A, reserve grade and under-19 teams in the Extended League, while the GDRL is hoping Miriam Vale and Calliope can play in the local league next year and will discuss this with them.

The plan will be voted upon at a Central Division league meeting to be held in Gladstone next week.

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