The NSWRL regrets to inform that Community Competitions in the Newcastle-Hunter and Maitland Districts have been abandoned for the 2021 season following the announcement by the NSW Government that the lockdown in the area would be extended until 28 August to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.
The NSWRL made the decision in consultation with Newcastle JRL, Maitland and District JRL, and the Newcastle and Hunter RL after it was determined it would not be possible to recommence and finish the season in the remaining timeframe. This decision does not include the Denton Engineering Cup, Reserve Grade or Under 19s competition.
The competitions affected include all Newcastle JRL, all Maitland and District, Hunter Valley combined (including age groups Under 12s to Under 17s from Group 21 Junior Clubs), and all Newcastle and Hunter RL.
“The NSWRL would like to commend the hard work put in by all parties to come up with contingency plans to keep the season going but unfortunately it was no longer possible,” NSWRL Head of Football Robert Lowrie said.
“It is important that we all adhere to the COVID-19 safety guidelines from the NSW Government and there was no way to ensure that our clubs, volunteers and participants could return to a low-risk environment in the current climate.
“The NSWRL acknowledges the unity that was shown by all parties in reaching this decision and the tremendous work that has been done this season to achieve record participation and set the Hunter Region up for further success in the future.
“The NSWRL thanks our participants, officials and volunteers for their contribution to our Community Competitions this season. We urge them to remain safe, adhere to the COVID-19 safe guidelines and we look forward to their return in 2022.”
All leagues performed at seven-year highs for participation including:
- Newcastle JRL 4,340 participants (5 per cent growth from 2019);
- Maitland and District JRL 2,316 participants (2 per cent growth from 2019);
- Newcastle and Hunter RL 1,991 participants (5 per cent growth from 2019);
- An average of 10 per cent growth for female participation and 3 per cent growth for male participation across all Junior and Senior Competitions from 2019
It was also determined that with the majority of regular seasons completed across all competitions (there were only two rounds remaining and all teams had completed the same number of games) that premiers and runners-up would be awarded based on final ladder positions.