Group 16 season closed by governing body

The Merimbula-Pambula Bulldogs were atop the leaderboard before lockdowns forced a close to play, with Group 16 now forced to cancel the remainder of the competition.
The Merimbula-Pambula Bulldogs were atop the leaderboard before lockdowns forced a close to play, with Group 16 now forced to cancel the remainder of the competition.

Group 16 will accept the ruling from NSW Rugby League that all community competitions have come to an end for 2021.

Group 16 chairman Allan Wilton said it was an unfortunate finish to a strong season where 11 teams had lined up in the top grade.

"The Group 16 Board would like to take the opportunity to thank and congratulate all Group 16 Clubs, volunteers, players, referees, coaches and supporters for their hard work and the wonderful contributions they have made during season 2021," Mr Wilton said.

"We look forward to working together with everyone in the future so that season 2022 can be just as successful as season 2021 until unfortunately interrupted by the Covid 19 regulations and lock downs."

Group 16's minor league arm had earlier announced an end to the season and awarded premierships based on the competition standings at the time of lockdowns in mid-August.

A statement from NSWRL said the latest Public Health Orders left them no choice but to face the difficult decision but to cancel all regional competitions.

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

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

"l 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.

"While COVID has thrown up many challenges to our sport, there are still plenty of achievements to be proud of with a strong participation base of 108,000 players leading into 2022.

"l thank all our participants, officials, coaches and fans for their contributions this season. I urge them to stay safe, observe the COVID-19 safety guidelines and look forward to seeing them back in action in 2022."

This story Group 16 season closed by governing body first appeared on Bega District News.