Senior Lowood and Rosewood rugby league clubs in limbo
IN LESS than 60 seconds the fate of country rugby league for two clubs was sealed.
Representatives from Lowood, Rosewood and Laidley clubs, along with the Ipswich Rugby League, gathered in Lowood for a special Valley Dragons AGM on Monday night.
The aim of the special meeting was to confirm the nomination for membership representatives of the affiliated clubs to the Valleys Rugby League Club.
The meeting also aimed to confirm executive position holders for the 2015 season.
However, when Brendan Bowers, the interim chair of the Valley Dragons, began seeking nominations from each club the only response received was silence.
Laidley was the only club to nominate a member, with Lowood and Rosewood refusing to do so.
Without the necessary nominations Bowers declared the meeting closed.
"It will not be going forward and, at this stage, there'll be no country clubs in rugby league in Ipswich for 2015," Bowers said.
With the IRL refusing senior nominations from Lowood, Rosewood and Laidley into the 2015 IRL competition, the unsuccessful AGM was a nail in the coffin for both Lowood and Rosewood.
Laidley remained supportive of the Valley venture.
Upon the meeting closure, a fiery crowd unleashed their thoughts on the matter to both Bowers and president of the IRL, Jack Rhea. But both were quick to exit the meeting, leaving many questioning their future in the game.
Ipswich Rugby League chair Jack Rhea said that despite the short and fiery outcome of the meeting, plans for the Valley Dragons would continue.
"I'm very, very disappointed," he said.
"It was the Lowood crowd that wanted the meeting.
"There is perception out there that we (IRL) are killing rugby league in the country, but they're the ones killing it themselves."
Rhea said business would be as per usual with plans still in place to introduce a reserve-grade Valley Dragons side next to the existing U19s in the 2015 season.
"The Valley Dragons will go ahead, and in a couple of years' time they will be a strong side," he said.
Former Lowood Stags player and coach Tim Beattie was disappointed with the meeting's outcome.
"We thought it might go this way but we thought they would ask for reasons why we didn't want to participate, not just up and leave," he said.
"That meeting was supposed to form their committee, and if they don't have a committee they don't have a club. They go against their constitution."
Lowood Stags president Michelle Dixon said the IRL's failure to compromise forced the situation.
"We had a meeting here last Monday night in regards to what we wanted to do as a club, and we put forward a few points to the IRL (about Valley Dragons) that needed to be answered before tonight's AGM and then they sent a response saying no to everything, so that's why we decided not to participate because there was just no leeway in what they wanted to do," she said.
With Lowood and Rosewood not complying with IRL requests, Rhea said the fixture for home games and training would be looked at.
"We haven't sat down and worked out a draw yet for what will be played where, but we'll do our best to support valleys," he said.