How local footy season will look if comp gets green light
RUGBY LEAGUE: Rockhampton Rugby League president Mick Johns is “hoping and praying” that local footy will be back in the first weekend of July.
He is buoyed by the fact that some restrictions imposed in response to COVID-19 were eased in Queensland at the weekend and there is a “lot of positive talk” at a national level around getting community sport back up and running.
But he says if there are no spectators allowed at games there will be no Rockhampton competition because the league and the clubs simply could not afford it.
“I’m very optimistic that we will play (this year),” Johns said today.
“We’re working towards a 15-week season from start to finish, which would include two full rounds and a three-week finals series.
“We really want football back to also get some activity back in the community and to restore some normality to things.
“The big thing for us is that if we can’t have crowds, then we can’t have a competition.
“We don’t have a TV broadcast deal to rely on. We rely on sponsorships and crowd support, that is what keeps us alive.”
The NRL is set to resume on May 28 but community rugby league is still suspended up to June 1 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Johns was confident the green light would be given then by the Queensland Government and state health authorities.
He said the game here was well placed given Central Queensland was now COVID-19 free and had had minimal cases compared to other regions.
“We’ve had a good run of zero days here in Rockhampton so it would be good if they could perhaps review it region by region,” he said.
“We’re really keen to get footy back but, at the end of the day, we just have to be advised by the higher authorities.”
Johns said Rockhampton’s senior competitions, when they returned, could also be bolstered by a number of CQ Capras players.
The QRL on March 27 cancelled the four statewide competitions – the Intrust Super Cup, BHP Premiership, Hastings Deering Colts and Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup – in which the Capras play.
“The other positive is the Capras are going to encourage their players to go play local league so that would be a bonus for the clubs as well,” Johns said.
“It will be a very strong local league when it resumes.”