FOUR ON FOUR: AFLQ has made changes to the Senior South East Queensland fixture meaning Tweed Coast Tigers play Lismore Swans on August 8 at Seabreeze Oval Tweed, shortly after they closed at Oakes Oval on July 18, 2020. Photo: Alison Paterson
FOUR ON FOUR: AFLQ has made changes to the Senior South East Queensland fixture meaning Tweed Coast Tigers play Lismore Swans on August 8 at Seabreeze Oval Tweed, shortly after they closed at Oakes Oval on July 18, 2020. Photo: Alison Paterson

’The sting is out of the season’ after border closure

AFTER being promoted to a more senior league, the four Northern Rivers Aussie rules clubs will revert to battling out the premiership between them after border closures forced a revision to the already delayed 2020 season.

On Wednesday, AFLQ confirmed that in line with the closure of the Queensland and New South Wales border, there would be changes to the 2020 season fixtures, impacting the Ballina Bombers, Byron Bay Magpies, Lismore Swans and the Tweed Tigers.

According to a statement released by AFLQ, they have developed a revised draw for the QFA Division 2 South competition.

“The new fixture only includes the eight Queensland based clubs, with the four NSW based clubs reverting to a four team localised competition across seniors and reserves that aligns to the existing Northern Rivers women’s competition fixture,” the statement read.

“The QFA Division 2 South competition now sees all eight clubs playing each other once, meaning all clubs will have a bye.”

Games played in Round 4 against NSW based clubs will be null and void, with those games counting as that club’s bye.

The season will finish as originally scheduled, with a three week top six Finals Series that culminates with the Grand Final on September 19 at Beenleigh.

The four NSW clubs will play a top four final series over three weeks, with the winner of the women’s Qualifying Final to host Grand Final day.

Swans senior men’s coach Joey Mitchell said “the sting is out of the season.”

“The border closure will not affect the Swans as all our players bar one live in Northern NSW, and it would not be fair to ask him to quarantine, we would not ask him,” Mitchell said.

“But I really feel for the other clubs because Ballina, Tweed and Byron are up there with the top teams, they are quality outfits and could push into Division One.

“For us playing the usual suspects it’s OK, nothing will change but if you have players living across the border, it’s obviously going to impact on our club.”

Mitchell said a the next game against Tweed this Saturday would see men‘s, reserves and women‘s games played at Seabreeze Oval at Tweed Heads.