FEND: South Kolan's Jacob Olive gets away from a tackle from Agnes Water's Codie Carmichael. The Marlins are in doubt to play next year in the NDRL.
FEND: South Kolan's Jacob Olive gets away from a tackle from Agnes Water's Codie Carmichael. The Marlins are in doubt to play next year in the NDRL. Brian Cassidy

THE COMP IS ON: NDRL is back for next year

LEAGUE: The Northern Districts Rugby League got the perfect gift more than a week out before Christmas.

The NewsMail can reveal the competition is officially on for next year despite no meeting being held yesterday.

The NDRL was meant to meet in Agnes Water but cancelled at the last minute because of the rainfall and the unavailability of certain members.

NDRL chairman Neil Redfern also moved the meeting after gaining what they all wanted - a competition.

"Miriam Vale and Gin Gin have confirmed they are good to go,” he said.

"So with the weather closing in up there we decided not to go ahead.

"We've got a four-team competition and it is looking pretty good.”

Miriam Vale and Gin Gin join Avondale and South Kolan who confirmed at the first meeting last month they were playing.

The NDRL's only doubt is now Agnes Water.

The Marlins have affiliated but have no coach, a limited committee and no sign of how many players have signed on.

"The chairman hasn't been able to carry on and they are undecided on a treasurer,” Redfern said.

"All they've got is a secretary.

"They've been more focused on bushfires as well.”

Redfern said he would talk to the club over the next few days.

"We'll work with them and try to get them on track,” he said.

"We're happy to provide them with resources and support.”

Redfern ruled out the possibility of Agnes Water merging with Miriam Vale to resurrect the Northern Force.

The merged side played in the competition in 2017 before the clubs split up at the end of their only season together.

"I'm not sure it can be looked at again,” Redfern said.

"Both clubs found it a challenge the first time.”

Redfern added Miriam Vale are set up, unlike 2017, so it was unlikely they would agree to one.

The inclusion of Agnes Water will make it a five-team competition next year, which would be the first time it has happened since last year.

Redfern confirmed he would do a draw for both a four-team and five-team competition and said Agnes Water would be given time to confirm their entry.

If five teams enter, to create the bye, the competition will be held over 15 rounds.

In a four-round competition teams would play over 12 round, similar to the competition this year.

Each NDRL team, regardless of the draw, would host three games.

The draw will be finalised at a meeting next year.

There will be more from the NDRL in the paper this week.



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