GROUP Three Rugby League will discuss with clubs the possibility of still playing a semi-final series.
This follows the news yesterday that MidCoast Council would be staying in lockdown, while local government areas (LGA) to the north have been released.
NSW deputy premier John Barilaro announced that MidCoast Council would be one of the LGAs still subject to stay at home orders.
"Unfortunately many regional LGAs will remain in lockdown due to COVID case numbers, for other parts of the State, stay-at-home orders will be lifted allowing more freedoms for those communities," Mr Barilaro said.
"This decision is based on NSW Health advice, and the LGAs which remain in lockdown will continue to be monitored and we will update those communities on a regular basis.''
Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead said this will be reviewed in a week. Mr Bromhead admits he is 'disappointed' by the decision to keep MidCoast in lockdown.
Group Three chairman Wayne Bridge said if MidCoast comes out of lockdown late next week, a semi-finals series could still start a fortnight later, with the competition continuing into October.
"But I wouldn't want to go any further than October 16/17,'' he said.
Mr Bridge said the NSWRL has ordered that all teams playing semi-finals must have training for a fortnight before they can play a game.
While clubs in the Hastings and Macleay can start training from Saturday, those in MidCoast are still in lockdown. Old Bar, Wingham and Forster-Tuncurry have teams involved in grand final elimination semi-finals.
Initially the group had hoped to play a full finals series, working on the lockdown ending on August 27. However, when this was further extended, the group revised the finals to a two weekend format, where the minor premiers play the fourth placed team in one game with second meeting third in the other. The winners were then to clash in the grand final.
Had the lockdown ended yesterday the group would have played the elimination semi-finals on September 25/26 with the grand final on Sunday, October 3.
However, yesterday's ruling now makes that impossible.
Mr Bridge said the welfare of the players will be the overriding factor. He pointed out that some haven't played a game since July 24.
"And we're coming into warmer weather in October so that's something else we have to take into account,'' he added.
Mr Bridge said Group Two is planning to play into October.