Corowa-Rutherglen will be the big losers this weekend out of the Victorian Government's decision to "effectively" shut the Border to NSW and ACT.
NSW became a red zone at 11.59pm on Sunday night following Sydney's COVID outbreak.
The Roos are away to fellow NSW-based outfit Lavington on Saturday with the club's three Melbourne-based players - Tom Goodwin, Charlie Nastasi and Jason Marks - unable to travel interstate without quarantining on their return home for 14 days.
Both Lavington and the Roos are out of finals contention, but the latter is emerging out of a difficult time, so it will be desperate to add to its four wins.
"Anyone outside the border bubble must isolate for that two-week period if they play in NSW as they are coming into a red zone," O and M general manager Craig Millar explained.
Anyone outside the border bubble must isolate for that two-week period if they play in NSW as they are coming into a red zone.- Craig Millar
The border bubble takes in a host of councils on both sides of the Murray River, including City of Wodonga and Rural City of Wangaratta in the south, along with City of Albury and City of Wagga to the north.
When teams were preparing for round 11 on July 3, southern Riverina council areas moved from green zones to orange under Victorian Government rules.
Melbourne players could play in NSW, but would require orange zone permits to re-enter Victoria, isolate and get tested within 72 hours before, hopefully, receiving a negative result.
The latest regulations have taken that option away.
As we have learnt with COVID over the past 16 months, it's impossible to predict what will happen next, but given Sydney had 112 cases reported on Monday morning, it's safe to assume it won't be a rapid exit from COVID regulations.
However, if the status quo remains for the final six weeks of the O and M's regular season, the league will have avoided a blockbuster being ruined.
ALSO IN SPORT
Wangaratta hosts Saturday's top of the table clash against Albury, while the Tigers are only NSW team set to play finals and don't host a blockbuster.
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