Why Fraser Coast won't host BRL finals fixtures
IT IS Fraser Coast's rugby league club members and supporters' annual gripe: a lack of finals games despite their successes.
Hervey Bay Seagulls claimed their third consecutive Bundaberg Rugby League A-grade premiership this year.
The Coast is represented in all four BRL grades by the region's three senior clubs, as the Seagulls, Wallaroos and Maryborough Brothers have all enjoyed varied, successful seasons.
Regardless of results, all finals are played at Bundaberg's Salter Oval.
The topic was debated on social media last week, as the minor premiership-winning Hervey Bay prepared to face Past Brothers for a place in the September 10 grand final.
BRL chairman Mike Ireland said the answer was simple.
"The out of town clubs apply to join the Bundaberg Rugby League competition knowing all finals are played at the home of the competition," Ireland said.
"If you go back a number of years when Warwick and Dalby had their competitions the rules were the same.
"People must remember the Bundaberg Rugby League put up the prize money for the competition and have to pay all costs to run Salter Oval along with the cricket for the year and as you can imagine with electricity, rates and groundsmen this is very substantial."
Ireland wrote the preliminary finals would be held at Salter Oval on Saturday, September 2, in his weekly newsletter on the BRL app.
He wrote it was not then known whether or not Bundaberg Junior Rugby League grand finals would be held at the same ground that morning.
The BRL is reluctant to change its preliminary finals date due to an agreement with the Northern Districts Rugby League: the BRL does not play seniors fixtures on NDRL grand final day, which this year is September 3.
BJRL's grand final host is based on the number of teams Bundaberg and Fraser Coast supply to fixtures.
If Bundaberg has the majority, the games are played at Salter Oval. If Fraser Coast boasts a majority, they will be played at Maryborough's Eskdale Park.
"As far as the junior league go, it is a combined competition between Bundaberg juniors and Fraser Coast so that is the reason they decided to go that way with the grand final," Ireland said.
"Here they are a week out from their grand final and they don't know where it will be held.
"In saying that also the junior league do not pay any upkeep for Salter Oval thus they do not have to raise money by having all matches at Salter Oval."