LINK TOUTED: Grafton Ghosts second-rower Matt Muller in action in a Group 2 under-23s representative match against Group 3.
LINK TOUTED: Grafton Ghosts second-rower Matt Muller in action in a Group 2 under-23s representative match against Group 3. Brad Greenshields

Merged league a pipe dream according to Group 2

RUGBY LEAGUE: While he has applauded his contemporary for trying to find an answer, Group 2 chief administrative officer Jim Anderson has downplayed the possibility of a joint league with Group 3.

The idea of a joint promotion emerged over the weekend after comments from Group 3 chief executive Barrie Smith about the state of the game on the greater North Coast.

"If we don't make changes, we'll die,'' Smith told the Wingham Chronicle. He suggested a joint Premier League competition with fewer clubs from both groups.

With player numbers thinning across the area, Smith alluded to a lack of competitiveness between clubs in Group 3, which is a similar experience in Group 2 with clubs such as Nambucca Heads struggling to field a competitive first grade outfit and Bellingen not fielding one at all.

But Anderson has admitted a joint effort might not be the way to fix these problems.

"To be honest I had never even thought of it,” he said. "But I just don't know if there is potential.

"Most clubs struggle to make the journey from Grafton to Coffs Harbour and vice-versa, to ask them to go from Grafton to Taree and back is just ludicrous, and what happens to all the people in between who love league?”

"As a group we would certainly sit down and discuss the idea, but I am just not sure of the potential.”

Group 2 and Group 3 administrators are preparing to host a meeting with Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs officials later this week after the club was linked to the East Coast Dolphins as its regional feeder association.



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