The Group 10 season has suffered a COVID-19-sized blow, with Lithgow Workies players forced into isolation.
A host of Workies' senior players either live or work in the Blue Mountains or Greater Sydney areas, and following NSW Health's latest public health orders those players and officials are required to stay at home until July 9.
As such, Workies' away game at Wade Park this Sunday against Hawks and then the following round 11 home game against Mudgee can't be played.
That round 11 game is scheduled to be played on July 11 after the lockdown ends, but the Group 10 executive committee has given the club grace due to its inability to train for a 14-day period.
Under New South Wales Rugby League rules, games unable to be played due to COVID-19 will result in a draw and one competition point for each club.
It's expected Lithgow will be able to field under 18s and league tag teams throughout this period, though. That will be confirmed on Tuesday night.
You just have to feel sorry for Lithgow and hope they get back on their feet quickly.- Hawks president Mark Johnston
The Central Western Daily contacted Workies president Anthony Brown for comment but he was unavailable at time of print.
Group 10 chairman Linore Zamparini said all clubs were notified of the move on Tuesday afternoon, following a Group 10 meeting on Monday night.
"We've got the list of players impacted and it's going to be tough for Lithgow," he said.
"The Blue Mountains cut off is at Hartley and a lot of the club's players either live in Lithgow and work on the mountains, or live on the mountains and work in Sydney, so they're in lockdown."
Zamparini said navigating this period of the 2021 Group 10 season is proving trickier than last year, when the start of the season was delayed due to the virus' initial wave in March, 2020.
"You're not wrong. It's important to note, too, that if other clubs are in the same boat they need to let us know," he added.
Hawks boss Mark Johnston said there wasn't a lot the two blues could do.
"It looks as though their senior boys live in Sydney and under COVID provisions they can't train, can't travel, can't play," he said.
"You just have to go with it. Nothing we can do to change it. You just have to feel sorry for Lithgow and hope they get back on their feet quickly."
The next round of the Group 10 season will have just one premier league game.
Round 10, this weekend, will see Panthers play St Pat's on Sunday while round 11 will have St Pat's and Hawks play while Panthers will tackle CYMS.
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