The Caloundra RSL A-grade cup has been flipped on its head this week and the competition suspended until May 17th after the SCGRL implemented a number of changes for the remainder of the season.
In a major shake-up to the competition, the Bribie Island Warrigals will take no further part in the 2014 season and the equally struggling Gympie Devils and Noosa Pirates will merge their A-grade sides.
The decision comes after both the Gympie Devils and the Bribie Island Warrigals forfeited their respective matches, in what was to be a quadruple-header at Caloundra to commemorate ANZAC Day.
In the matches played on Saturday, Kawana beat Caboolture 28-6 in a physical encounter, whilst Maroochydore-Coolum thumped the Noosa Pirates 68-10.
Sunshine Coast Rugby League CEO James Ward said in a press release that although the timing is unfortunate, these decisions must be made for the game in the region to move forward.
“As a result of consultation with the eight SCGRL First Division Club Presidents, it is confirmed that there is a need to redirect the ‘A’ and Reserve Grade competitions for the remainder of the season,” said Ward on Tuesday evening.
“The reconfiguration of competitions will not happen overnight, nor will an effective “merge” between Noosa and Gympie.
“It is confirmed that Bribie Island will not field ‘A’ or Reserve Grade Teams for the remainder of the season.”
Gympie Devils president, Jim Bougoure, confirmed that despite his club’s proud history, including a premiership in 2010, the club is struggling to field a competitive side.
“We’ve had a heap of injuries… season ending injuries within the club,” Bougoure said of the Devils.
“A few players work away from home… we’re really struggling to field competitive A-grade side at the moment.
Bougoure is committed to finding a solution to the club’s roster issues and says that a merger with Noosa would be a step in the right direction.
“We’ve basically got eight-to-nine committed A-grade players… between us and Noosa we would have a very competitive side,” he said.
“We really need to focus on the juniors coming through the club and keep them interested in the game… some move to Brisbane for university once they’ve finished school, and some simply lose interest.”