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Group 9 season cancellation

Written by: The Hilltops Phoenix

IMAGE: Cherrypickers first division coach and player Nick Hall hopes 2022 will be a season free from COVID-19 distraction.
IMAGE: Cherrypickers first division coach and player Nick Hall hopes 2022 will be a season free from COVID-19 distraction.

The Cherrypickers’ season has been cancelled, with NSW Rugby League making the call to cancel the Group 9 Rugby League Competition late on Tuesday afternoon. Group 9 board member, first division coach and player Nick Hall said it’s a sad situation after first division thought they could break the 30-year drought between premierships.

He feels most disappointed for the under 18s who were leading their competition, under 16s and the girls league tag sides.

The Group 9 Board had consulted with NSWRL and were hopeful their plans for COVIDsafe events would allow the finals to go ahead.

It’s yet to be confirmed by Group 9 as to whether there will be a competition premier. The minor premiers are the Tumut Blues.

“It’s sad as a coach, as a player and as a fan. It’s sad for the executive and the volunteers,” Hall said.

He said it’s good to have clarity, as a decision had to be made soon.

“What I know about football is we’re a resilient bunch. We’ve got a good club. Who knows what next year’s going to bring.”

“Initially it’s disappointing, but all in all we had a great year.”

In a statement NSWRL said it was “forced” to make the difficult decision.

“While the NSW Government has recently announced easing 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 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.

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