A frustrated Doug Hewitt was the latest to add his name to the list of those wanting the Premiers Challenge to become a pre-season fixture after Sunday's matches at Wellington.
The Bathurst Panthers captain-coach was speaking after his side produced a lacklustre performance against Group 11 champions Wellington, suffering a 36-16 loss at Kennard Park.
It followed on from a 40-16 thumping at the hands of Forbes in the corresponding match last year.
"It's a good thing but this timing, you can't do it," Hewitt said.
Sunday's game came one week after Panthers' Group 10 premiership win, a result secured after a gruelling grand final clash with Mudgee which went into extra-time.
"It can't be a week after a grand final. You put your whole season into one game and once you win that you're not thinking about footy straight away again," Hewitt said.
"You take your footy hat off for a bit and you focus on resting the body up.
"A lot of our blokes were carrying injuries from last week and to have to step up and travel out here and try and do it again the next week won't work.
"I can see it as a pre-season game and that way you can use it as a trial as well as a good game to start the season but it's too hard straight after a grand final."
Hewitt's comments came after CYMS league tag coach Gerry 'Chicka' Merritt said something similar in the lead-up to Sunday's fixtures.
Merritt said pre-season would allow more players to be available, with holidays and work commitments combining with injuries to affect all lineups involved on Sunday.
Merritt's troops got the win on Sunday, as did the other two Group 11 clubs in action, and representatives from all Group 10 sides involved stated motivation was an issue just seven days on from their grand final wins.
Group 11 sides had an extra week to prepare after their grand final wins came on September 8.
Despite the disappointment of not being able to show what his side was capable of, Hewitt paid tribute to the Cowboys while adding how proud he was off his club's success.
And Hewitt, also heavily involved in the harness racing industry in Bathurst, stated he's likely to continue on as captain-coach in 2020.
"I think so. I said last year I supposed I had to do it again to make it two and we've done that so I suppose we've got to go for three," he said.
"It is full-on at the moment and I don't really get a day off anywhere but when you win a premiership you straight away think about the next year and if you can do it again.
"For now I'm going to enjoy the off-season and then we'll attack next season when it comes around."