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Group 16 Rugby League teams withdrawn from competition

May 10, 2023 7:11 am in by

In local rugby league, the men’s first and reserve grade Moruya Sharks teams have been withdrawn from the Group 16 competition, effective immediately.

With the senior team only playing two of four games this season due to a growing injury list, the Sharks were forced to fold their first grade side but according to group rules, Moruya is not allowed to have a stand-alone reserves team, meaning players across both grades no longer have a local team to play for this season.

Club Secretary at the Sharks, Patrick McMahon, told East Coast Radio while withdrawing from the competition was unavoidable, it’s sad news for local rugby league in Moruya.

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“We’re obviously really disappointed, the committee has worked hard, players have put in a full pre-season, it’s disappointing for our sponsors, it’s disapointing for rugby league followers in Moruya generally,” McMahon said.

“It’s put a bit of a dampner on things around town but we will do our best to bounce back.”

McMahon said while the Sharks had good reserve grade numbers, its first grade squad was decimated by injury.

“Because we don’t have enough numbers to continue in first grade, we’re not allowed to have a stand alone reserve grade side, so we had to cut both teams which is very sad,” McMahon said.

Moruya players looking for opportunities to play rugby league on the South Coast, are allowed to join another Group 16 team.

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“We’ve had a couple who have already shifted to Narooma and Batemans Bay with our blessing,” McMahon said.

“From our point of view, we hope that anyone that wants to get a game this year will be able to do that but whether that’s the reality or not, we will have to wait and see.”

The withdrawal means the Sharks will not compete in any further games of the 2023 Group Rugby league season in the men’s first grade and reserve grade but in terms of what happens with the teams in 2024, Mr McMahon said it’s unknown.

“The core group of first-graders that we had this year have indicated they’re keen to try again next year,” McMahon said.

“But traditionally it’s hard to put a side on the paddock coming from a nil base but we’ll be working hard and we’ll do our best.”

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Images: Moruya Sharks

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