OUSTED: Cheers and tears have alternated for the Mustangs since that historic 2012 premiership victory. Photo: Rob Wright
OUSTED: Cheers and tears have alternated for the Mustangs since that historic 2012 premiership victory. Photo: Rob Wright Rob Wright

Mustangs set to stay on outer

THE DOOR is not yet locked but it's unlikely tonight's Group 2 Rugby League annual conference will usher in a return to the fold by Macleay Valley.

The troubled Kempsey-based club is looking for a competition to play in after being shown the door by southern neighbours Group 3, a matter of weeks after winning the grand final.

While expulsion was not the reason the Mustangs left Group 2 at the end of 2013, the club's departure was seen as an opportunity for a new start after a string of controversies, including the abandonment of a match at Coffs Harbour that saw a string of suspensions handed out.

Again, the dream has soured and rumours have been circulating the club will seek re-entry to the local league.

"They have the right to apply to play here again but I think it's a million to one the delegates would vote to have them back if they did ask to come back," Group 2 chairman Warren Gilkinson predicted.

"The Mustangs' departure was part of an overall realignment of boundaries By Country Rugby League that saw us gain two clubs from Grafton.

"If any change is made in future, the only thing I can see is Lower Clarence also coming into the competition."

Whispers that the team based in Maclean would be the third Clarence Valley outfit to move south have been around for some time but while a final decision is unlikely to be made tonight, the subject is certain to be discussed.

The financial hangover from a CRL loan issued in 2009 has seen the Magpies bound to the NRRRL competition but with the books now in the black, it may be now just a matter of time before the club becomes the 10th Group 2 participant.



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