Sport goes into recess

Sporting competitions across the region came to an abrupt halt at 5pm on Saturday afternoon when the government announced a state-wide lockdown.

While many competitions across NSW had already been impacted by Covid restrictions, the bulk of the Riverina competitions had been running largely unhindered.

That changed on the weekend and the seven-day lockdown means there’ll be no action on Saturday for the likes of junior soccer, junior rugby league and netball.

Should the lockdown end as planned at midnight Saturday, the final round of the Group 9 season could still go ahead, though administrators of that code are also yet to make a decision.

No team training is allowed under the lockdown rules, casting some doubt about an immediate restart to competitions whenever the lockdown does end.

Some sporting codes have already had a disrupted winter, with sodden fields leading to a number of rounds being called off.

In Group 9, administrators made the decision to call Sunday’s scheduled games a draw. 

That meant games between Young and Gundagai and Temora and Southcity resulted in each side sharing the points.

Group 9 Chairman Andrew Hinchcliffe said his committee were considering all options ahead of next weekend’s round 18 of games, and that it was likely all matches would be played on Sunday, should the seven-day lockdown be lifted.

“We will be investigating all options during the week and discussing a potential move of games from Saturday to Sunday,’ Hinchcliffe said.

“We are working in line with health advice and government advice, we will keep complying with the rules.”

The season being extended is also an option, with Hinchcliffe and the Group 9 committee preparing for a longer stay on the sidelines. 

“What we have done is extended the booking on McDonalds Park for the grand final,” Hinchcliffe said. 

“All options will be explored in due course, and we understand some teams will be impacted and we want to work out how we best navigate the most even and best outcome as possible.”

NSWRL issued advise that club and competition activities, including games, training and any official club events, can’t take place under any circumstances during this time period. 

They urged clubs to refer to the NSW Health site for the most up to date information on current health guidelines and restrictions https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/

“The NSWRL will continue to work with local leagues, the Office of Sport and NSW Health to consider recommencement options in relevant areas,” NSWRL Head of Football Robert Lowrie said.

“We wish everyone all the best and please stay home and stay safe during this time.”

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