The Yamba Buccaneers forwards set to pack down a scrum in their Far North Coast Rugby Union President's Cup clash against Iluka Cossacks on May 4, 2019.
The Yamba Buccaneers forwards set to pack down a scrum in their Far North Coast Rugby Union President's Cup clash against Iluka Cossacks on May 4, 2019.

FROM THE GRANDSTAND: Cross-code clash gains momentum

THE match is still scheduled for early December with a pool of some $16 million to be spent between the contesting parties and their governing bodies.

The ratings, I believe, would be off the scale and it may end up as a ‘pay per view’ show like they have for prestige boxing matches.

Indeed it is a boxing promoter Dean Lonergan who is behind the promotion, the very same man that pushed Jeff Horn to a world championship.

There are many who don’t want to see this happen of course. They think it is no more than a gimmick and believe it will spoil the purity of the game they love.

Look, it will not prove which is the better game or anything like that and it isn’t intended to do that in any case.

It will simply be the culmination of a somewhat unbelievable season for both codes. So much has gone wrong, wouldn’t it be good to finish the year in a positive light?

What harm could come of it. Surely seeing the best footballers/athletes in Australasia can only be a good thing.

Action from the 1st grade qualifying semi-final between Grafton Ghosts and South Grafton Rebels at Frank McGuren field in 2019.
Action from the 1st grade qualifying semi-final between Grafton Ghosts and South Grafton Rebels at Frank McGuren field in 2019.

As far as the local game is concerned I have not had any negative feedback.

I have two experienced coaches on board in the presence of Col Speed as well as Tony Wiseman, who has the jump on his opponent as he is looking after a side of Lower Clarence players under the Cossacks banner and they are winning games.

Essentially, people want to see this game as one between the Lower and Upper Clarence players. Some natural rivalry there would be good, not sure about the internal rivalry between Rebels, Ghosts and Redmen personnel who would make up the Upper river side.

I have spoken to experienced rugby referee Peter Campbell who had agreed to take charge of the match and is excited by the challenge of officiating under these adjusted rules.

The only hiccup so far is the insurance matter. Is there someone out there who could advise us who to turn to in securing this? I spoke to the GM of the CVC and he confirmed we would have to have some insurance provision if we were to use council grounds.

Let’s not let this opportunity pass by. All proceeds would go to charity and I think it could really develop into a yearly event with more sides coming on board each year.



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