Group 3 clubs have voted in favour of a slightly shorter season in 2017

PORT City Breakers president Geoff Kelly believes a two-round competition will be the best format for Group 3 clubs in 2017.

It would allow each team to play each other both home and away which means clubs won’t have to find more money and sponsors to accommodate a three-round competition.

At the Group 3 annual general meeting, clubs considered two draws – one from the group and the other from the Breakers.

Most clubs favoured the Breakers version.

“The issue was that in the Group’s version, the pre-season clashed with cricket,” Kelly said.

“We have a lot of our players that play both sports.”

Under the Breakers proposal, the 2017 season would be shorter than 2016 by a couple of weeks.

“I’m a bit old-fashioned in that I think two rounds is the best format,” Kelly said.

“If you have to play three rounds, clubs have to find more money with sponsorship and that sort of thing.”

The final decision on the format of the 2017 season is expected to be made by the Country Rugby League in the next week or two.

It would involve an April 22 kickoff after Easter, with the grand final to be played on September 3.

There will be two spare weekends.

Under the Breakers proposal, the pre-season competition would be different to the season proper.

This year the first four rounds of the competition counted for points as those games were part of the pre-season tournament.

“The pre-season competition won’t eat into the first four rounds of the competition like it did this year,” Kelly said.

Port Macquarie Sharks president Mick Cudmore said they were happy with the Breakers version.

“There’s a couple of weekends spare for wet weather which we didn’t have this season,” he said.

“And when you have a couple of less rounds it keeps the players happy because they’re not playing as much and running the risk of injuries.”


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