Cross-code war heats up in Qld - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cross-code war heats up in Qld

Laine Clark 23/03/2011 07:12:47 PM Comments (0)

As Queensland's cross-code battle heats up, Gold Coast boss Michael Searle claims "dominant code", rugby league, is more interested in winning over the community than "world domination".

The NRL has drawn a line in the sand with the AFL in Queensland, scheduling a Broncos-Melbourne clash at Suncorp Stadium on May 7 - the same night of the inaugural Lions-Gold Coast Suns derby game at the Gabba.

Barely 24 hours earlier, Gold Coast's Skilled Park will host the Anzac rugby league Test.

It is a double whammy the NRL hopes steals the thunder from the Suns' official introduction into the rugby league heartland in 2011.

To boot, the Titans and Broncos held a joint press conference on the Gold Coast on Wednesday to sell Friday night's Skilled Park clash ahead of the Lions' first home game this weekend.

But Searle believed rugby league did not have to "beat its chest".

"One of the virtues of rugby league is that we are a very humble organisation," Searle said.

"No one ever beats their chest.

"A lot of what we do is not about PR or back pages - it is making a real difference.

"PR departments at rugby league clubs have never been strong because we invest in the community."

However, in a small dig at the rival code, Searle said league could take a leaf out of the AFL's book.

"I think they have a wonderful organisation at the AFL, they do very good things," he said.

"But world dominance is not what it is all about - it's about the community being happy.

"By the same token we don't promote our game a lot either ... or its virtues.

"Maybe that is a lesson that we have to learn from the AFL - they do spit out some pretty good stuff in PR."

The cross-code war is set to escalate with the introduction of AFL newcomers Greater Western Sydney next year.

If Searle was worried about the Suns muscling in on his turf, it didn't show on Wednesday.

"We don't particularly bother ourselves with other codes -what they do is up to them," he said.

"Rugby league is still the most dominant code in TV ratings - we know we are the most dominant sport in Queensland.

"But we don't take that for granted.

"There is always going to be threats. We don't forget what our fans love.

"And you don't get a better experience than our two venues - Suncorp Stadium and Skilled Park.

"We are very blessed.

"But we know we have to give them a good reason to get out there and cheer."

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