To borrow from pseudo-NBA star Jackie Moon, in the annals of history people are going to be talking about three things: the discovery of fire, invention of the submarine, and the Western Rams Mega Bowl.
As part of the review into Western Rugby League, Rams officials will recommend the 2018 Group 10 and Group 11 premiers go head-to-head in a premiers play off – or, if you like, the Western Rams Mega Bowl.
The winner will, potentially, then go on to represent Western as part of the Country Rugby League and NSW Rugby League’s newly introduced State Championship the following year.
Along with the introduction of the premiers play-off, the adoption of a player points cap system region wide and the shortening of the length of the junior rugby league season all stemmed from the review, which was instigated after Dubbo CYMS made public its intention to switch from Group 11 to Group 10 in November last year.
That won’t be happening – not in 2018, anyway – after representatives from clubs and both competitions agreed the region’s two biggest premierships will maintain the status quo next season.
Changes to both competitions were floated, but the affected clubs didn’t agree to those changes.
Western chairman Peter McDonald says he’s satisfied with the lengthy review, which included a public survey, workshops, a review and report from a consultancy company and further feedback from the region’s rugby league clubs.
McDonald said the implementation of a points system, like the one being used in Group 10, was the big change moving forward.
It’s expected Group 11 will introduce such a cap for 2018.
The current cap system in Group 10 works under an allotment of 17 points per premier league side, with players who’ve played NRL in the last three seasons worth seven points, while a player who transfers from one club to another is worth two.
Local juniors don’t incur any points to a cap while the worth of a player appointed to captain-coach a team is halved.
"We’ve got a meeting this Wednesday to have a look at it,” McDonald added.
“Whether we then give smaller towns a bit more than the 17 points and take a few points away from the bigger centres … that’s something we’re still fine tuning.”
The Cowra-based chairman said he was excited about the introduction of the premiers playoff game, with first grade, under 18s and league tag champions from both groups to square off in a bid to be crowned Western champions.
"It's added extra,” McDonald said.
“What I should say is the people in charge of Group 10 and Group 11 are in favour of it, it’s then up to them to see what the clubs think.
"We'll test the waters with it next year.”
The junior rugby league season will also be shortened, with a start date to be May 6, 2018, and a grand final date no later than September 1.