A RECENT pre-season meeting has seen Group 2 Rugby League outline its team numbers and dates for the upcoming 2021 season.
The senior first grade competition will feature seven teams in 2021, after initially scheduling for nine to feature in the pre-season competition and beyond, with both the Nambucca Roosters and Orara Valley Axemen pulling out of senior competition this year.
The Tooheys New Group 2 Rugby League pre-season kicks off on Saturday, 13 March and will be played over three weeks with the pre-season final to be played on Saturday, 10 April.
The Group 2 Rugby League first grade competition kicks off on Saturday, 17 April, with the grand final to be decided on Sunday, 5 September.
Sawtell Panthers president Allan Bell was one of those in attendance at the Group 2 meeting, and told News Of The Area his club’s first hit out of the year would come against one of the best teams of recent seasons.
“We have our first trial on 13 March against the Coffs Harbour Comets,” he said.
“It will be good for our players to go up against the leading team over the last 5 years.”
The Panthers president was looking forward to watching his club take to the field again after a senior season lost due to COVID-19.
“We’re looking forward to getting back on track after a year off,” he said.
“It will be a good season, and we are lucky as so many sponsors have stuck with us.
“Our under 18’s and Ladies Tag teams are shaping up well too.”
In a similar fashion to the Orara Valley Axemen, the Nambucca Roosters chose not to field a first-grade team for the upcoming Group 2 Rugby League season.
In a statement on the club’s social media page, the Roosters said that ‘due to a lack of registered players Nambucca had no option but to withdraw from the 2021 Group 2 competition.’
The Coffs Harbour Comets take to the field for the first time this year when they play trial games against the Port Macquarie Sharks on Saturday 6 March at Geoff King Motors Oval.
The first-grade match kicks off at 4.30pm, with the under 18’s at 3.30pm and the women’s league tag kicking off at 2.30pm.
By Aiden BURGESS