THE NRL remains an outlier in world sport after vowing to continue with its season despite the AFL's decision to postpone its competition until at least May 31.
The AFL also made the call to cancel its AFLW premiership in response to state and federal governments' tightening of restrictions of non-essential activities in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Australia's two major sporting codes had been on an unofficial unity ticket in continuing their competitions at empty stadiums while the overwhelming number of sports leagues halted in the face of the virus.
That changed on Sunday, with AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan announcing the postponement after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a ban on all non-essential travel, while some state governments have begun shutting their own borders.
It has amped up pressure on the NRL to follow suit but ARLC chairman Peter V'landys has stated the game's intention to push on until directed not to by government health authorities.
"We said from the outset we'd listen to the government and health authorities and nothing's changed from our end, the government authorities haven't told us to shut down or stop playing," V'landys told Channel Nine.
"The health of our players, naturally, is paramount so we'll be taking no risks, but at this point the health authorities haven't indicated that they don't want us to play.
"We're in the hands of the health authorities, the minute they tell us it's not safe to play, we won't be playing, but at this stage they haven't told us that so we'll continue to play."
Such a directive could come out of Sunday night federal cabinet meeting, but that's all that will bring a halt to the NRL competition that faces financial ruin should games - and the resultant broadcast cash - cease.
Round two played out on Sunday, with interstate teams flying in and out on charter flights, with the league expected to add strict enforcement measures to its directive to players to self-isolate away from their training and playing duties.
V'landys has made it clear the game's reliance on broadcast money, contingent upon screening eight games per week, would make a break in the competition "catastrophic," while also issuing a plea to the government to ensure the game does survive.
Any decision by the NRL to halt its season at the behest of the government would likely need to come with assurances the game won't be left financially stricken.
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