THE CORONAVIRUS has knocked out two major Group 4 Rugby League pre-season competitions –the Jack Woolaston 9’s and Ladies League Tag Knockout.
But the regular season is still timed for an early May kickoff.
On Tuesday morning, an emergency Group 4 Board meeting was held with North Tamworth Rugby League club president Jody Cooper and Greater Northern Tigers regional manager Scott Bone discussing the up-coming Group 4 season.
It was agreed the best decision given the dire circumstances of the pandemic that the upcoming Jack Woolaston 9’s at North Tamworth and Ladies League Tag Knockout at Boggabri be cancelled.
Bears president Jody Cooper said calling off the 9’s was “unfortunate” but simply falling into line with directives from the nation’s Chief Medical Officer.
“We’ve got to do the right thing, this has happened and is out of our control,” he said.
“We’ve got to look after the players and their families.”
Scott Bone said whilst it is a difficult decision it has been made by the North Tamworth club and Group 4, in collaboration with the NSW Rugby League, “in the interest of the Group 4 clubs and the community”.
“The bodies will continue to work together, with the information that is provided by the Government and the Sports governing bodies to ensure the safety of the players, volunteers and the rugby league community in general," he said.
However the regular Group 4 season is still timed for a May 2/3 kickoff at this stage, advised Group 4 Rugby League chairman Ray McCoy.
He said, iterating the message from NRL heavyweights Peter V’Landys and Todd Greenberg: everything is fluid.
Group 4 chairman Ray McCoy said while the 9’s and Lady’s League Tag pre-season competitions have been abandoned the Group is still preparing for the season kickoff.
“Clubs are still able to train but they should be monitoring their health and hygiene closely," he said.
Mr McCoy said the fact the pandemic is changing so dramatically and so quickly means all decisions are short term and dependent on changing medical conditions and directions.
He reminded the players and public, via a Department of Health directive “the coronavirus is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:
direct close contact with a person while they are infectious
close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes, or
touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face