Every game a toss-up in Central north

THIS long weekend will see a huge round of Central North rugby across the region as teams play the final round before possibly being split into two tiers under the new format.

That split may or may not happen pending a vote tomorrow night between the committee and clubs.

While the top five and bottom five sides are all but sorted, every game this weekend is a great match-up.

Most spots are still up for grabs at the top, although only within that top five.

There is an eight-point gap between third-placed Pirates and fourth-placed Gunnedah although the top three could change places this weekend, as could the bottom two.

A bonus point win by fifth-placed Inverell over the Red Devils would see them change places.

It is the same at the top, with a win by Moree over Narrabri seeing them change places, and if Pirates beat Scone they can finish in second place.

The undefeated Blue Boars will host premiers Moree in what could be the clash of the year so far and a grand final replay.

The match will also decide who finishes the first round in the number one position and the draw for next week if they split.

As soon as the new tiered system was announced, everyone knew it would be the bottom two spots in that top tier that would be up for grabs.

Moree, Narrabri and Pirates were expected to cement the top three and that is exactly what happened.

After a few early wobbles, some close games and some blow-outs it was Inverell and Gunnedah who came to the top five and took fourth and fifth with one round to play.

Scone made the finals last year for the first time since joining the competition and looked to be in again this year until some late-round losses saw the Brumbies slump to sixth.

Only a 2-bonus point win over Pirates and some other results going their way can save them from staying in the bottom tier.

That predicament is sure to impact on their vote when the committee meets tomorrow night to see if they still want to run with the two tier system or return to the home and away system of the past.

Moree and Tamworth have already voiced their desire to return to the old format, although it will take a vote of 66 per cent  of the teams to overturn the new format.

Another issue on the table is the lack of reserve grade sides in the bottom tier.

A solution to this problem will be put on the table where reserve grade teams play games on the club’s bye weekend to make up the numbers.

Walcha will be motivated today at Tamworth Rugby Park after plans to move the game to last  night fell through.

The Rams have several players going to watch the Wallabies-France Test in Brisbane after initially thinking the game was going to be under lights last night.

At the bottom of the table, a huge clash between the cellar dwellers was played last night in Barraba.

The Rams hosted Quirindi with both sides hungry for that first win after receiving some cricket scores throughout the season.


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