Tugun faces uncertain future
TUGUN'S future is in limbo as plans to establish a strong Gold Coast rugby league competition flounder.
The Seahawks, forced to compete in the predominantly Brisbane-based Mixwell Cup this year, have been told to "stick fast" with plans to play in a Gold Coast comp next year even though there are fears that competition will be second-rate.
South Tweed opted on Wednesday night to stay with the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League (NRRRL) rather join the Gold Coast competition.
Tugun president Dean Glover said that decision meant just seven clubs had committed to the new competition, three of which were keen to run their reserve or third-string side.
Runaway Bay, whose top side Tugun beat 28-0 a couple of weeks ago, want to field a second side, while Burleigh and Seagulls are keen to field what would be their third-string outfits as both clubs want to field teams in the Queensland and Mixwell cups.
Glover, whose club has struggled to attract crowds in its first year in the Mixwell Cup, said last year's Group 18 premiers had been left in limbo.
However QRL southern division chief executive Troy Morton urged patience, saying the Seahawks needed to display some confidence in the new competition.
Morton said a Gold Coast competition would become a force although he conceded this could take a couple of years.
He said the QRL was committed to its success.
But, for Glover, who has been one of the biggest advocates for the new competition, it's time to put Tugun supporters first.
"Why do we have to go to Brisbane to play, when there are more than one million people on the Coast?" he said.
And, he hasn't ruled out the possibility of the Seahawks approaching NRRRL officials.
NRRRL president Robin Harley yesterday said the league would consider admitting Tugun if "proper process" was followed.
"Ross Livermore (the QRL managing director) drew a line in the sand and as far as we are concerned any changes to teams competing in (our) competition have to be condoned at a higher level first," he said.