The NSWRL has released the full draw and fixture details for the 2018 Ron Massey Cup, with the season to kick off alongside the Sydney Shield on 7 April.
In 2018, the Ron Massey Cup will run consistently with feeder competition the Sydney Shield; both competitions will feature 11 teams. The Asquith Magpies make a return to the Ron Massey Cup, while Brothers Penrith are introduced to the competition. The Auburn Warriors will not take part and the former Concord-Burwood-Glebe Wolves will now be known as the Glebe-Burwood Wolves.
Five games will take place every weekend of the 20-round competition, with one team having a bye each week except for Round 16, in the only reduced round of the season. Like the Jersey Flegg Cup, Sydney Shield and Intrust Super Premiership NSW, it will culminate on the weekend of 22-23 September with the Ron Massey Cup Grand Final.
The Ron Massey Cup is a semi-professional Rugby League competition – the second-tier competition for NSWRL Seniors – with clubs and players feeding into the Intrust Super Premiership NSW.
Named after former Rugby League coach Ron Massey, the competition dates back to 1963, when founded by the NSWRL as the then-Inter-District Competition.
The 2017 edition of the Ron Massey Cup saw the number of teams vying for the prize reduced from 13 – as it was in 2016 – to 10, though the quality on show was far greater than ever before.
After convincing outings in their respective preliminary finals, the Wentworthville Magpies and Auburn Warriors met in the decider at Leichhardt Oval.
A dominant performance from the first whistle until the last saw the Magpies run in six-tries-to-one in a 38-4 win. The Ron Massey Cup premiership win was the fifth in the club’s history, and their first since their 2013 Grand Final win over Mounties.