27/7/2016 - We just can’t compete’: Whitaker calls on CWRU to consider two tiers

PARKES Boars assistant coach Trevor Whitaker has called on Central West Rugby Union officials to seriously consider a proposed two tier Blowes Clothing Cup competition to ensure the survival of small-town rugby clubs.

The Boars were annihilated 89-0 in their Blowes Clothing Cup first grade fixture against defending champions Orange Emus on Saturday, capping a one-sided weekend for the competition after Roos thrashed Mudgee by 71 points, Forbes flogged Rhinos by 36 points and Narromine forfeited all four grades to the Bathurst Bulldogs, citing a lack of numbers.

The CSU Bathurst and Cowra games were deferred thanks to a water-logged University Oval.

Devastated by the weekend’s result at Endeavour Oval, Whitaker didn’t see any end in sight with injury and work commitments set to continue to cruel Parkes’ 2016 season.

In his words, Parkes simply don’t have the players, and a long-term strategy to ensure the survival of small-town teams like his and those in Narromine, Cowra and Forbes has to be developed.

“The smaller towns just can’t compete,” Whitaker said, preferring clubs like Dubbo Roos, Bathurst Bulldogs, CSU Bathurst, Orange Emus, Mudgee and Orange City to take part in a tiered competition.

Leaving Parkes, Narromine, Forbes and Cowra and Dubbo Rhinos in a lower tier.

“We’ve spoken about (a two-tier competition) at Central West meetings before, and I think it’s the only way to go,” he continued.

“We just don’t have the players. (The bigger towns) do.”

Whitaker said he wasn’t disappointed by the “inexcusable” comment made by Emus assistant coach Andrew Logan after the Emus-Boars top grade clash was called off 10 minutes before full-time.

Logan was fuming after a number of Parkes players left the field, seemingly without injury.

“I can understand where they’re coming from,” he said.

“We had a shut down at the mine and that ruled out four players. I rang Andrew (Logan) the night before and informed him of our problem. We’re short on numbers, we didn’t have any props (on Saturday).

“We’re short on backs across the whole club. It’s been one of those years.

“Eight players backed up from second grade on Saturday. I know because I handed them their jumpers. The players that left the field, they’d had enough.”

Incredibly, the Boars second grade side accounted for Emus 10-7 on the same day.

That Parkes reserve grade side often includes former Central West Blue Bulls Israel Symington and Johnny Rathbone, although the latter didn’t play due to injury on Saturday.

“That’s their choice,” Whitaker said giving reason behind the duo’s non-first grade selection.

Symington did back up for Parkes in first grade last weekend though.

“They’ve had a good run in first grade with the club and this year they just want to play seconds and have a run with their mates,” he added.

Whitaker said the club has four senior grades this season because a number of old boys expressed interest in playing at the start of the season.

“They’re there for home games but it does become a battle for away games,” he said.

“It doesn’t get any easier this weekend either. We’ve got Dubbo Roos. We’re at home. Hopefully we get a few more players.”14081322_1077594755656851_447547772_n

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