Horowhenua-Kāpiti rugby coach Chris Wilton knows there is a worldwide pandemic. He knows the seriousness of that. He's absolutely aware that in the scheme of things, a game of rugby ain't that big a deal.
But with this season's Heartland championship up in the air due to another Covid-19 outbreak, he can't help but feel disappointed for his players, who had worked and trained hard for months and were looking forward to the season ahead.
HK were to have kicked off the season with a game against Whanganui at Cooks Gardens last weekend, and were due to play Thames Valley at Levin Domain on Saturday.
"Look, it is what it is. People's lives and livelihoods are at stake and you need that perspective," he said.
"But it is little bit gutting, because there was a lot of excitement. We were ready to go and there were some very good signs, at trainings and in our game against Wellington Māori the week before."
"Some of these guys were going to be making their first-class debut. They've been playing and training since February. For me, they're missing out."
The 2020 Heartland championship was canned due to Covid-19.
If and when lockdown restrictions ease Wilton was hopeful the representative season could be salvaged and some rugby could still be played, even if that meant a localised series with games against Wairarapa Bush and Whanganui.
"It will affect teams in different ways in terms of availability, but for us, we should be good," he said.
In the meantime, the team was staying connected with team chats and by sharing online fitness challenges, posting skills and drills and exercise routines from their backyards.
Wilton also had access to "the vault" and was circulating footage of old games and snapshots of historic footage from the past to keep up morale.
Lockdown restrictions meant no rugby could be played in levels three and four, while games were permitted during level two without spectators.
The season was to have continued with games against Poverty Bay, West Coast, North Otago, East Coast and Buller, leading into the competition semifinal on October 16, with finals weekend the week after.