Warriors will fight G2 vote
By GREG WHITE
NOBODY believed when Gimbisi Valley was voted out of the Group 2 competition on the weekend it would be the end of the matter.
Even when Warriors spokesperson Fred Quinlan told the meeting there'd be 'no appeal' and there were 'no hard feelings', delegates were predicting continued fallout.
Complicating the issue was the validity of an application made by Kempsey-based organisation Dunghutti Titans.
Their submission was withdrawn prior to the meeting and attempts to have it re-instated after the expulsion of Gimbisi, failed.
Country Rugby League's area regional manager Scott Bone has now confirmed two appeals against the Group 2 decision have been lodged.
"Gimbisi have notified their intentions and their fees have been paid," he said.
"But a second appeal lodged on behalf of Dunghutti is most interesting, considering their status as a 'club' is in question, not having been officially ratified by the Group.
"We're awaiting the grounds for both appeals and our senior management have already indicated a priority hearing."
Bone said the CRL Boundaries and Competitions Committee had been assigned the matter.
"Ironically, Group 2 president Greg Mayhew is a member of that panel and has moved quickly to disqualify himself from sitting," he said.
When asked by the Coffs Coast Advocate to clarify his organisation's position, Mayhew said: "It's the same as it was at Sunday's meeting where the delegates voted to exclude Gimbisi and deny reinstatement of Dunghutti's application.
"Secretary Peter O'Grady had a three-hour meeting on Monday night to work through options with Fred Quinlan, Paul Davis and Eddie Vale who represented the Titans.
"We've opened the door to a new application in a year and will continue to assist and encourage their efforts."
While the vote was conducted by secret ballot, a canvass of clubs 'for and against' reveals a likely 19-9 count against the Warriors, indicating their cause still has support.
And while the appeals will proceed, sources from the Kempsey region suggest pressure from a Warriors 'old guard' is forcing the issue with those on the Titans' side of the fence keen to follow Group 2's suggestions.
One northern club official (who didn't wish to be identified) was forthright in his views.
"It's almost certain Gimbisi would lose the vote but they made a mistake by withdrawing the Dunghutti application and changing horses in midstream," he said.
"Having Paul Davis involved inspires confidence and I reckon they could have been a 50-50 proposition.
"If not this year, it could have been next year.
"Now, it will take much longer, if it's a chance at all."
A legal battle has not been ruled out by the CRL.
"Nobody wants it but a similar situation with Moree Boomerangs made it to the High Court," Bone said.
"If the appeals are overturned I believe it's the only further option they have."