Passion, innovation and an environment that provides sustainability is helping second-tier competitions in the Western Rams region flourish.
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But, for all the recent success, more assistance from NSW Rugby League is needed, according to Castlereagh League secretary Bryson Luff.
Luff's competition is set to expand to 10 clubs next year due to the expected return of the Coolah Roos while the Woodbridge Cup will likely balloon to 14 clubs once Cowra and Blayney make the switch from Group 10.
The the growth is a sure sign of success, Luff looks at the funding given to premier competitions like the Peter McDonald Premiership for things like referees' travel and live coverage of matches with some frustration.
"All that does is free up clubs to go and buy players and sometimes it's from competitions like ours and there's quite a number of Castlereagh League-based players in Dubbo and so on," Luff said.
"I've brought up the inequity in funding in competitions but competitions like ours don't really rate.
"This year our clubs got two footballs, a set of league tags and a ground managers' vest and that was all from NSW Rugby League.
"It makes you shake your head. But we'll keep on doing it because we love footy."
That passion is one of the biggest reasons the two second-tier competitions are in such healthy states.
Another, according to Luff, is the less financial pressure and the ability for clubs to be viable for the long-term.
While players being paid more than $1000 a game can happen in the PMP, Castlereagh clubs are only able to pay their coach.
"I think it's an indication that money is not going to solve problems and it probably creates more problems, particularly for smaller towns and competitions," Luff said of clubs leaving the PMP.
"I live in Gilgandra and I remember when they were in Group 11. They won a premiership in the early nineties but it cost them the club. They couldn't form the next year because they had brought out the Peacheys and so on.
"That's what you've got to do to be competitive. But then when you buy players your locals get the shits and they go and play rugby or they don't play at all."
Luff said the beauty of his competition is players play for the love of the game and for their towns and the same goes for the Woodbridge Cup, according to its president Andrew Pull.
"There's no doubt the PMP is the highest standard of quality rugby league and that's where we want our kids to be before they head off to the NRL," Pull said.
"But there's also a place for our competitions, the community rugby league as well.
"In places like Dubbo or Orange, for example, there's so many sports for people to play ... whereas you go to some of these small towns for a game of rugby league and everyone goes to that game because it's all they have in that town.
"It's the lifeblood of those towns and it works."
Luff and those who run the Castlereagh League have been invited to speak at the NSW Rugby League Community Conference this weekend due to the success of the competition.
More people are playing rugby league in the region, largely due to the addition of a shortened reserve grade competition to the schedule.
Players, many of which had previously retired, only need to commit to a few weeks of action while the finals run alongside the rest of the competition.
Woodbridge Cup floated the idea of copying that this year and it could be on the agenda again in 2024 as they continue to offer the chance to play to anyone who wants a game.
"We never say no to anything," Pull said.
The Woodbridge Cup's under 18s competition has also benefited from a flexible approach.
Unlike the PMP, fielding a junior side isn't mandatory in the Woodbridge and Castlereagh competitions but for those who do field teams, turning up with nine or 10 players is never a reason to cancel a game.
"I know a lot of people and people on social media, they talk about how league tag saved country footy, which is a little bit true," Pull said.
"But, for me, it was back in 2009 here when we got our first under 18s to come back and we've run with it.
"That first year we ran it with three sides and a lot of people questioned that but now we've gone from five to six, and hopefully next season will be seven and that's an extra 100 junior players every year and they lead into the first grade lineups.
"That's what has made us a stronger competition and sustained us.
"I know of a kid who went out to Trundle to play under 18s and he ended up staying there forever. You get that connection to a club and you stay there."
Unity is another major factor for both competitions.
Pull said more than a decade ago there were some clubs which hated each other but the cup's unofficial rule now revolves around helping each other as everyone is from small communities which need assistance.
"We all need a bit of help and we're all volunteers," Pull said.
"We all just want to see our community thrive and I've had some of the shortest meetings in the history of the world because of it."
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