Group 10, Woodbridge Cup forced to abandon 2021 finals series after NSWRL makes call on COVID-19

ZEROES TO HEROES: Blayney Bears co-coaches Lachie Hobby and Ryley Oborn have brought the Blayney Bears back to full strength in the First Division side, but will not be able to play in any finals matches.
ZEROES TO HEROES: Blayney Bears co-coaches Lachie Hobby and Ryley Oborn have brought the Blayney Bears back to full strength in the First Division side, but will not be able to play in any finals matches.

Group 10's 2021 season has been cancelled and Woodbridge Cup's campaign gone after the NSW Rugby League called time on all remaining community-based competitions for this year.

In a directive delivered to Group 10 and its clubs on Tuesday - communication all competitions still holding out hopes of completing a finals series come October or November received - the NSWRL said it was a difficult decision to cancel all of the remaining regional NSW competitions but due to the latest Public Health Orders there was little choice.

While the NSW Government has recently announced easing to some restrictions in various areas of NSW, the NSWRL has been advised the Public Health Orders do not allow for organised or competitive community sport to recommence.

The present ambiguity relating to vaccination targets and related requirements for community sport was another key factor considered by NSWRL before confirming the cancellation.

The Group 10 junior rugby league made the call to abandon its final series last week.

"I thank all stakeholders for their tireless efforts in trying to get community football back on the field but unfortunately it is no longer feasible," NSWRL Head of Football Robert Lowrie said.

"COVID has thrown up many challenges to our sport."

Group 10 chairman Linore Zamparini said the writing was on the wall when the NSW Government said last week community sport was too great a risk to return even in communities now slowly being lifted out of lockdowns.

"In reality, this is as far as we could get," he lamented.

The call will be a bitter pill for a lot of Group 10 clubs, with the 2021 season the last before a new premiership, pitting Group 10 and Group 11 clubs against each other, is launched for 2022.

Daniel Mortimer's Orange CYMS side was on top of the ladder after the last game that was played at the end of July, while the green and golds' under 18s side was also on top of the ladder.

The Blayney Bears led the first division premiership, while St Pat's was on top of the league tag competition.

No decision has been made on how to honour those sides in 2021.