AFTER an impressive pre-season build-up, Dallas Booth's Oberon Tigers are at the mercy of the unprecedented pandemic that is the COVID-19 virus which has virtually shut down the world.
The NSW Rugby League issued a statement this week stating that all competitions will be suspended until May 1, 2020, when a further assessment of the situation is made.
Wind the clock back to November 2019 and the fate of the Oberon Tigers was hanging in the balance.
A committee could not be formed, player commitment was underwhelming and a raft of the current Group 10 players had left on mass, understandably so because the future of an Oberon Group 10 side could not be guaranteed.
It was dire times to say the least.
Despite the grim outlook, Dallas Booth and Shannon Foley took up the challenge and brought together a truly local band of players that would represent Oberon, and ensure we would have a weekly afternoon of rugby league featuring an open men's and ladies' team.
Local players flocked back to the Oberon Leagues Club ground for pre-season training with the men's numbers averaging 25 and the ladies not far behind.
A trial game was played against the Lithgow Workies Group 10 club and the Tigers held their own, heralding a great omen for the season to come.
In the men's game, Workies fielded their first division side that went undefeated in the 2019 Group 10 season and sprinkled a few premier league players into the mix, including renowned hardman Corey Willmot.
The Oberon side also had its fair share of experience, with Luke Christie-Johnston a standout in the front row.
Big Ty Simmonds waged a war against the Workies pack and the likes of Sam Gascoigne, Zane Rowlandson and Jake Foley ensured there was plenty of willing support.
The Tigresses (if I can call them that) gave the big crowd a great entree to the Oberon footy season.
Lourie Bailey was outstanding and Rebecca McCusker crossed for the girls' first try of the season.
Sponsors have remained loyal and the Tigers were in for one hell of a season.
What could have been remains to be seen, but we must all fall into place and acknowledge that these are tough times, and sacrifices will have to be made.
The Oberon Tigers and rugby league will be back with a roar in this town; we just need a little patience.