It was always on the cards with the looming threat of Covid-19 possibly re-emerging at any given stage of the season, but the LottoNRFL has suspended relegation and promotion for the 2020 seasons, as the four divisions will play three more games before wrapping up what has been topsy turvy year.

The decision to remove promotion and relegations will have ramification for clubs across the region, none more so than Claudelands Rovers, who will be both breathing a sigh of relief, and raising their arms in desperation.

In the division two men's league, Claudelands Rovers were on track to make a serious push for promotion to division one, undefeated with five wins, three draws and 18 points in third place.

However, the club's premier women's team was in desperate strife at the bottom of the table with just one point, 72 goals conceded and only two goals scored.


The lack of a relegation battle for Claudelands Rovers has given the club a rare second to chance to rebuild after an incredibly disappointing return to the premier league.

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Across the other Waikato teams, both Melville United and Hamilton Wanderers men's team will breathe a little easier that they won't be in the midst of a relegation battle if their results didn't start to pick up, while Wanderers women's team will be disappointed they could not have a chance to win the women's premier league, as they currently sit in second place.

Players, coaches and supporters did not react well on the official LottoNRFL Facebook page.

One comment from Glen Lewis which attracted over 50 reactions said "Of course people overwhelmingly supported the option to remove Promotions/Regulations. 8 of out 10 teams per league would of voted for this option. Pretty unfair considering that every team will have the chance to play each other. Waste of a season really, especially those teams who have done well and worked hard to be the position they are in."

With now just three games to be played in the revamped league with not a lot to play for, the three Hamilton clubs can look to build on either their successes or failures from this season early, and prepare for what should be a busy off-season for the majority of teams.