Speed and flair

IF asked to assess the year just completed, the word 'flamboyance' best describes what rules, and will continue to rule the Group 2 roost, in 2006.

Forget what happened to Orara Valley in the grand final.

If the rival clubs haven't woken up to the playing style that gave Orara the minor premiership before being routed by the Mighty's at the end, then I can see the same two club's playing the end game next year.

Speed, flair and the taking of enormous risks under pressure is how this game was first designed, and how it works best.

Even at the higher levels, isn't it obvious that teams encumbered by massive game plans drawn up by stereotypical coaches, are tumbling under the strain?

Clubs that put passion first, and technicalities, second, will continue to thrive.

In 2005, Woolgoolga and to some extent, Nambucca Heads, looked most likely to follow the course set by Macksville and the Axemen.

The others had better follow suit or fall by the wayside.

The 'silly season' is alive and well.

The latest hot rumour concerns a big name recruit allegedly wanting out of his contract so he could play, of all things, rugby.

Wrong, people.

The big bloke (and I do mean b-i-g) is signed, sealed and delivered, according to his new club.

Not so wide of the mark is the story one coach down south is well and truly on the skids. He may start the season, but I won't take short odds he will finish it.

And finally, the Comets at this time of year are always good for a loose story or three, and the goss is the Williams' boys are still to settle on their future .

Rumour has them being courted by a near neighbour known for throwing the ball about on game day.

If the boys are reading this, trust my advice, particularly if they have aspirations for higher achievement.

You make less of an impression when you're just another cog in the machine.

But if you get the opportunity to cut loose (as I believe the plans are for you both to do next year), then a bloke like the Mighty Mo will make you stand out from the herd.

Mo will make you stars.

And that goes for any young bloke with a growing reputation who thinks the lights may be brighter with a switch to greener pastures.

That one extra year surrounded by your mates at the club where you learned your trade often makes all the difference to your career.

Let's give the crystal ball a polish and see what's ahead in 2006.

As I have become notorious for putting noses out of joint while using my democratic rights etc., apologies in advance as per usual.

n The Country Rugby League, that hoary old organisation I delight in giving a regular good kicking to, may finally be renovating it's creaking bones.

At long last, the old hardheads more concerned about getting their scarlet blazers as reward for years of mediocrity are being eased aside, and if they still won't go, are being given a firm push to oblivion.

Terry Quinn is gradually encircling himself with a band of progressives.

While change will initially be slow, at some stage I expect rapid strides.

Look for a drastic overhaul and simplification of the constitution.

Watch for computerised aids being provided to Group bosses, then trickling down to club level.

Expect firm direction on how to manage finances or be told to pack up and go broke in another sport.

Group 2's future structure will not change before 2007 but a CRL meeting next month will finally deliver firm ideas.

North Coast Division will become a 'region' with the menage a trois of Group's 2, 3 and 4.

The hot tip is one of the still to be appointed full time administrators will end up in our region.

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