President of the Gladstone District Rugby League Richard Duff. Photo Dylan Suska / The Observer
President of the Gladstone District Rugby League Richard Duff. Photo Dylan Suska / The Observer Dylan Suska GLA060416LEAGUE

VIDEO: Gladstone rugby league survives crisis

GLADSTONE rugby league was lost, the top tier competition was in ruins as Calliope Roosters pulled out of A Grade on Saturday.

>> BREAKING | Rocky bosses give Gladstone rugby league lifeline

President Richard Duff called an emergency meeting with club presidents on Monday to look at the possible solutions.

The only viable option was something the clubs voted out before the season started when they snubbed Rockhampton's offer to merge the two leagues.

As Gladstone rugby league was in tatters Duff called out to Rockhampton rugby league and it has given them the kiss of life.

"I got in touch with Mick (Johns) and he has been an absolute champion," Duff said.

"He managed to fit in three teams into the new competition.

"I can't thank him enough for the time and efforts he and his committee have put in on short notice.

While the choice for Johns was simple, the process was lengthy, 11 hours worth, six just doing the draw.

"Imagine if we turned our back on them? That's not what rugby league is about," Johns said.

"There were about 150 guys who might have been lost to the game, and that is the most important thing."

Tannum Sands Seagulls will have its first away match at Emu Park this weekend and treasurer Luke Murphy said it would be better for his club.

"A lot of players drop off during the season (in the old competition) because it doesn't matter if they win or lose, they're already into the finals," he said.

The front rower has played for the seagulls for 13 years and said players were excited at training last night.

"Transport is our only issue and we're just hoping to make it work," he said.

"We're confident we will get more players due to the excitement than we will lose due to the travel."

President of the Gladstone District Rugby League Richard Duff. Photo Dylan Suska / The Observer
President of the Gladstone District Rugby League Richard Duff. Photo Dylan Suska / The Observer Dylan Suska GLA060416LEAGUE

Valleys president Joe Hayward wasn't as convinced as Hayward and said he had been through this in the past.

"Financially it will be a struggle and with Gladstone going through a lot of unemployment player retention could be an issue," he said.

"We've been down this path before but I guess a change is as good as a holiday.

"Our Under 20s and A-Graders are excited."



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