Dubbo Westside has been left to fight for its future after being forced to forfeit this weekend's Group 11 derby clash with Macquarie.
After a tumultuous off-season the Rabbitohs have endured disastrous results on the field in 2019 and have conceded triple figures on five occasions inside the first 10 rounds.
Despite the best efforts of the hard-working board, which has received a huge amount of praise from the Group 11 committee and opposition clubs, injuries and departures in recent weeks has left Westside unable to field two senior teams this weekend.
On Thursday night the decision was made to forfeit this weekend's games against the Raiders at No. 1 Oval.
In a statement sent to clubs on Thursday evening, Group 11 president Derrick Hoe stated if the club does not have enough players at training next week and is unable to take on Forbes after next weekend's general bye it will take no further part in this year's competition.
If that does happen, the Rabbitohs would then need to "prove to the Group at the November meeting the club has enough players to be viable in the 2020 competition".
But Westside secretary Brooke Mallison is hopeful it won't get to that point, with plans in place to help players back from injury before the clash with Forbes.
"We can't walk away now," she said.
"We've come so far. The rebuild has started and we've got a lot of things in place for 2020 but we need to get there first.
"The players understand why we've done this. We're not just saying 'bugger it', we really need to look after what we've got."
Six Rabbitohs players suffered injuries in last round's loss to Wellington, while there have been a number of players depart the club in recent week.
"We spoke all week about forfeiting to give the players some extra time to recover," Mallison said.
The rebuild has started and we've got a lot of things in place for 2020 but we need to get there first.Westside secretary Brooke Mallison
Westside has had a renewed focus on welfare and well-being this season, helping players while they are both on and off the field.
That was another reason behind the decision to forfeit, with the risk of worse injuries not only affecting the playing roster but also players' livelihoods in the community.
Mallison added she was proud of the club for making it as far as it had this season and while she is desperate to see the support of the community and the playing group, she's all too aware the club will continue to have to prove itself in the coming weeks and months.
"It's not just Westside, any club in this situation would have to prove themselves," she said.
"We've been trying to prove this year why we should be part of the competition and we've made changes in structure, discipline, and governance but once again we'll have to prove to the (Group 11) board and clubs why we should be welcomed back."
The passion for the club Mallison and her husband Wayne, as well as many others involved in Westside, have for the project is clear and Hoe made note of that in his statement.
"On behalf of the board of Group 11 we would again acknowledge the great job done by the executive, committee and players of Dubbo Westside Rugby League Football Club in 2019," he stated.
"Everyone involved with Dubbo Westside RLFC should be proud of the improvement in accountability and club governance. Clubs have praised Dubbo Westside RLFC at home and away games."
The Group 11 board is still finalising how this, and any other potential forfeit, will impact on opposition sides' for and against.
The points from the forfeit means Macquarie could potentially end the weekend in the top five.