Newcastle Rugby League: First-grade kick-off times revert to traditional 3pm timeslot for remainder of 2018 season

Kick-off times have been brought forward half-hour. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
Kick-off times have been brought forward half-hour. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

A LETTER from coaches has helped persuade Newcastle Rugby League officials to bring forward kick-off times by half-an-hour for the rest of the season. 

From this weekend, and with the shortest day of the year approaching on June 21, first-grade matches will revert to the more traditional 3pm timeslot. 

In the opening six rounds most games had started later at 3:30pm, but concerns had been raised by various mentors about the deteriorating conditions being experienced towards full-time.

A lack of sun and inadequate ground lighting were the primary issues.

“Half-an-hour doesn’t seem like much, but it does make a difference,” Newcastle RL chief executive officer Matt Harris said.  

“The league needed to take action so kick-off time for first grade will revert to 3pm for the rest of the year.” 

The decision was made by the Newcastle RL competition committee on Tuesday night and then communicated to all parties via email.

Rival coaches had banded together to voice their opinions about the change, which was introduced for 2018 after being voted in by clubs to accommodate an increase from four to five fixtures taking place each playing day.  

ROUND 7 FIXTURES: Lakes v Maitland, Macquarie v Cessnock, Kurri Kurri v Western Suburbs (Saturday); Central Newcastle v South Newcastle (Sunday).

ROUND 7 FIXTURES: Lakes v Maitland, Macquarie v Cessnock, Kurri Kurri v Western Suburbs (Saturday); Central Newcastle v South Newcastle (Sunday).

* MAITLAND’S Jarrod Smith faces an extended stint on the sidelines after scans last week confirmed an ACL tear in his knee. Before knowing the extent of the injury Pickers captain-coach Luke Dorn said the “tough” character” was prepared to play against Central last start.

* WESTS coach Matt Lantry was impressed with the recent debut of Rosellas under-19 hooker Liam Wilkinson in the top grade.