FUTURE: The Mariners' season will be shorter.
FUTURE: The Mariners' season will be shorter. Matthew McInerney

Fraser Coast Mariners' season takes shape tonight

THE structure of the Fraser Coast Mariners' coming season will be decided at a Sunshine Coast Rugby Union meeting tonight.

The SCRU last week announced its new first grade structure, in which the Sunshine Coast's four A-grade teams - Caloundra, Maroochydore, Noosa and University of the Sunshine Coast - will join seven Brisbane Suburban teams to create a new competition.

The four existing SCRU clubs with teams in both grades will play each Brisbane Suburban club once in the first 11 weeks of the season.

It promises to deliver a new, exciting competition for south-east Queensland's first grade rugby players, but SCRU general manager Luke Wyatt said it would mean a change to reserve grade's structure.

For SCRU's A-grade clubs, they will keep the points accrued in the first 11 weeks when they return to their four-team competition.

Their reserve grade teams will revert to zero, as the four clubs who field only one team - Gympie, Nambour, Fraser Coast and Maleny - enter a shorter season.

Wyatt said the shorter season was based on club and player feedback after last year's season tested the player depth of every club.

"There were far too many games straight last year,” Wyatt said.

Wyatt said options were open for how the four northern clubs approached the first 11 weeks of the year, but they won't accrue points that go towards the SCRU reserve grade premiership.

There could be changes to the post-season, with one idea suggesting the bottom four clubs play off for a plate as the top four play finals.

"They've been asked to come up with a plan for how to deal with those first few weeks,” Wyatt said.

"They can play a four-team competition for silverware before the new season starts again.

"Someone suggested teams could split into two lots: the top four go for the premiership, while the bottom four go for a plate.

"It's up to the presidents to sort it out.”



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