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Moses Mbye writes ... We're all in shock, where to next?

Right, so that's all she wrote for a while and like you, I'm still trying to digest it all. 

As news began to break on Monday night that the NRL season was suspended I was heading home from physio.

My initial thoughts had always been it was inevitable at some point but listening to Peter V'landys and Todd Greenberg make the announcement it still caught me by surprise because it's something that has never happened before.

A good way to describe the feeling right now is like going through a period of grief – something that has been taken away from us so rapidly and we're all in a bit of shock.

It's hopefully only for a limited period of time but it just goes to show how important the game is to us socially and as a livelihood. 

I also felt a bit of relief, which might sound silly, but as a playing group we went into that second week and this week about to prepare thinking are we going to play or is that our last game for a while?

The unknown gave a lot of players and staff at the club a level of anxiety whereas now it's sorted and we can work on OK, so where to next?

Something has been taken away from us so rapidly and we're all in a bit of shock.

Moses Mbye

Earlier in the day I had been driving along and saw hundreds of people lining up at government departments like Centrelink requiring financial and other support – it was gut-wrenching to see what effect it's had on the wider community.

My family members and neighbours are all affected by the closures of businesses and work industries … people who, every week are working their arses off to provide for their families and themselves only to have it all swept from under their feet in the space of hours.

We're in a position where we're now compromised but fortunate enough to eventually recover to have a job but it hurts me that we can't say that for the whole community.

Certainly, from the players across the game the health and safety of our friends, family and the wider community is at the forefront. For me, they're the priority right now.

We have no control over this unless everyone can band together. The attitude across Australia has been so good with support. Hopefully there can be some good to come to it.

In terms of the next steps for our rugby league journey, we're all not really sure.

There's not much clarity around it yet because no one knows. We weren't required at training this week and nothing has been finalised for the short-term future.  

Some clubs have sent their players on leave and we could soon follow. 

Football and training at a high intensity is such a big part of our lives. We train hard so I guess we'll have to stay as healthy as we can and exercise at home if that's the case.

In the end, it will come down to more controllable things like our diet, which might actually get interesting given the state of some shopping centre stock at the moment!

Later in the week those issues will be resolved and we'll be given some more information.

Naturally, my next thoughts are so when are we back on the field playing competitively again?

You become so torn on wanting the game to resume as soon as possible but also understand what's at stake here – people's health and safety.

Wests Tigers trio Luke Brooks, Josh Reynolds and Moses Mbye.
Wests Tigers trio Luke Brooks, Josh Reynolds and Moses Mbye. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

Without the fans and members it affects us. Instead of getting the game's going again quickly I think we must have the public safe. Off the back of that, the game will recover.

I am very confident the fans will return this season and we can get back to some stability as a game.

Another big topic in the game right now is whether it will survive and how much players will be willing to sacrifice in a way to make that happen.

At the end of the day we're a huge stakeholder in the collective bargaining agreement. We all – from the top and bottom – will rise and fall with the game.

There's not one person involved in rugby league who will benefit from this situation, absolutely no one, so everyone has to band together to help the game survive.

If that takes wage cuts or financial detriment, the players are willing to do it. We owe the game so much and especially for me as an individual.

We are so privileged to have this job and going beyond the playing group it's so vital for the community and the social aspect in bringing communities and religions together. It's inclusive and important.

Everyone is working extremely hard to make it survive. It's important to know everyone's in it together. We're all on our knees and the only way out is to swim in the right direction.

I think the entire situation has been handled extremely well by Peter V'landys and Todd Greenberg, along with all senior management at the NRL.

The issue just grew too big for the game but they made the right decision and stuck to their principles throughout it all.

It's now up to us – players, staff, fans and the wider community – to play our part.


The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.

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