Small town clubs could still struggle under Central West’s new structure

MUTUAL RESPECT: Molong and Narromine players shake hands after a competitive GrainCorp Cup Northern Division grand final on Saturday. Photo: JENNIFER HOAR
MUTUAL RESPECT: Molong and Narromine players shake hands after a competitive GrainCorp Cup Northern Division grand final on Saturday. Photo: JENNIFER HOAR

Many of the Central West Rugby Union (CWRU) teams are welcoming the major changed announced in terms of a split competition and tiered divisions.

While teams like the Mudgee Wombats are eager for the swap, changes to the structure could be a year too soon for the Narromine Gorillas and other teams looking to take the step up to the second tier.

Narromine took out the GrainCorp Cup Northern Division grand final at Cale Oval on Saturday with a 31-10 win over the Molong Magpies.

Captain-coach Craig Campbell said the changes announced last month – to reduce the Blowes Clothing Cup competition to six teams and introduce a second tier  – was a move in the right direction, but might not work for small town clubs.

Under the changes, second division teams will be required to field first and second grade sides and although his side won the title undefeated, Campbell said the Gorillas could still struggle under the two-team system.

“We only have 27 players. Over the year we had 34 all up. People come and go from small towns and there's a lot of us over the age of 30,” Campbell said.

“I want if to work and we’ll try, if we’re in that we’ll try to make it work.

“I think it’s a year too early for us … we would definitely be competitive in one grade but the second grade we’d struggle for numbers.”

Molong captain Josh Peffer welcomed the shake-up, saying something definitely needed to change.

Molong's Josh Peffer and Narromine's Craig Campbell give their take on the changes.

Molong's Josh Peffer and Narromine's Craig Campbell give their take on the changes.

“I hope that the changes make for more competitive rugby,” Peffer said.

“It would be great for Molong to continue to play competitive rugby whichever tier we get put in to.”