It is definitely not the end to the season Todd Gauci and his Dubbo Rhinos side wanted, but it is unfortunately the one they have been given after Central West Rugby Union's announcement on Monday.
The CWRU board made the decision to abandon the remaining competitions due to the uncertainty which remains around the COVID-19 situation affecting regional NSW.
As a result of this, the New Holland Agriculture Cup and Blowes Clothing Cup colts competitions were among those abandoned.
The Rhinos were scheduled to play Mudgee in the New Holland Cup second grade grand final in Parkes when competitions resumed but will now end the season as runners-up.
Co-coach of the side Todd Gauci feels for his players knowing all the hard work they put throughout the season just to get to the final.
"I'm gutted," he said.
"So are most of the boys."
The Rhinos did not make the grand final in an easy fashion having to have defeat CSU Bathurst before facing a physical Narromine team just a week later to win a nail-biting 10-9 match.
Gauci believes it is not the end of the season his side deserves after their efforts particularly in their last two matches.
"Especially when we did it the hard way to get into the final," he said.
"We came fourth on the table and had to play two games to get into the grand-final."
On a positive note, Gauci could not praise his side enough especially after they only came together just a week out from round one.
"I posted up on our chat about how proud I am," he said.
"How we came together a week before the season started and we were thrown together.
"For us to get thrown together to where we achieved is incredible.
The Rhinos team will now enjoy their off-season away from rugby but Gauci knows the side will be back and stronger than ever with a point to prove.
"Most of the boys are already in for next season," he said.
"They've said in our group chat that we have unfinished business."
Unfortunately for the Rhinos' colts, they miss out on a chance at the title after finishing second in the competition as Orange City finished minor and now major premiers for the season.
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