RLMD takes a hit after third team bows out
A THIRD club has exited the 2020 Rugby League Mackay & District senior competition before a single tackle has been made.
RLMD chairman Adam Wright told the Daily Mercury this morning that the Sarina Crocodiles had informed him of their decision to withdraw from this year's competition.
Wright said it was unfortunate to see the Crocs, who had recruited strongly ahead of this season, pull the pin.
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The departure comes four days after the Moranbah Miners withdrew from the senior competition.
Reigning premiers the Whitsunday Brahmans were the first to exit on June 3.
Wright said even without the three clubs, RLMD's plan to run a shortened 10-week season beginning August 1 was still alive.
"We have an obligation to the region to get football on the field this season," he said,
"Some people don't want to play, which is fine, but there are a lot of other players who are still eager."
Wright had a meeting with presidents from each club last night and he said most clubs were still confident moving forward.
The RLMD board will meet next Tuesday to make a final decision on how to proceed with the 2020 season.
Sarina A-Grade coach Setaimata Sa said the difficult call was to protect the limited volunteer pool at the club from burnout and ensure a stronger future.
"We would have loved to play but I think it was the right decision for the club," he said.
The former Sydney Roosters player was unsure if his players would migrate to different clubs to play out the 2020 season, but he was confident they would return to Sarina the following year.
"I have a good relationship with all these players," he said.
"If they want to go to another club it would be to play footy, but I know a lot would come back."
The A-Grade coach said while some at the club were not happy with the decision, he would support the Crocs entirely.
The Crocodiles made a Facebook post yesterday to alert members of the club's decision.
"Our club has considered all options in-depth, from the Return to Play guidelines, shortened season, our sponsors, staff and player welfare, player benefit and financial impacts to aid in the assessment of this outcome," the post read.
"This year was planned to be a successful year with a lot of local committed talent retained and the signings of some key players to assist in boosting the depth within our club.
"(But) we will be back in 2021, stronger than ever."