Disappointing end as league season is called

Stacey Ashe in action earlier in the season. Magpies President, Marc McLeish, said the club was proud of both Stacey's League Tag side and its Under 18s performances.
Stacey Ashe in action earlier in the season. Magpies President, Marc McLeish, said the club was proud of both Stacey's League Tag side and its Under 18s performances.

The whistle has been blown on Group 10's 2021 season following NSW Rugby League's (NSWRL) decision to call time on all remaining community-based competitions for this year.

In a directive delivered to all the remaining competitions across the state, including Group 10 and its clubs, the NSWRL said it was a difficult decision 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.

Cowra Magpies President, Marc McLeish, said while the club was bitterly disappointed, a decision had to be made.

"Things were getting stale and the longer it went on, the harder it was going to be to get them all back together and moving," he said.

"So for the interest of the players more than anything it was just better off calling it, another two or three weeks they are basically starting a pre-season again.

"While it is disappointing, there really was no other way around it.

"We appreciate they tried to hold on as long as they could."

McLeish said the club was extremely proud of the efforts its Under 18s and League Tag sides had put in this year to get to the semis.

"From an interrupted start that left them in the wash of the talk about first grade, they've really stood up, responded and pushed forward for the club, which is great," he said.

"The 18s were coming in with plenty of momentum for the finals and we had high hopes of them being a real chance to take it all the way.

"The (League Tag) girls worked really hard to get themselves into the semis and we were hoping to see them go as deep as they could.

"But they are all good success stories for bouncing into next year."

The 2022 season will see a new premiership, pitting Group 10 and Group 11 clubs against each other, with McLeish excited for the new competition.

"We're very hopeful we'll have the top grade back in next year and things are progressing as well as they can," he said.

"We had a bit of momentum in that direction that the lockdowns got in front of again, so that's stalled a little bit.

"But we'll be having a yack and getting our starting point and hooking in."

He said the club was now organising their own end of season events.

"We'll be getting our presentation night organised, we've just got to monitor the COVID situation," he said.

"While we are out of lockdown, I don't think we are out of danger and we'll be having our presentation night as soon as we possibly can and with any luck an information night in the next few weeks to talk about next year and really keep the momentum up that we've work hard to get this year."

No decision has been made on how to record the completion of the season but McLeish said the club couldn't argue against minor premiers being named premiers.

"From first grade down to under 18s, the minor premiers were very deserving," he said.

"It was a bit closer in the first grade but it was pretty clear cut in the other grades who the better team was all year.

"So I don't think there's much debate to be had from our point of view, I think if minor premiers are declared premiers it's well and truly deserved."