The Western Rams didn't take to the field on Saturday but both the men's and women's sides were dealt a blow which hurt as much as any defeat.
Both sides were knocked out of the top four following the results of the games between the North Coast Bulldogs and Illawarra South Coast Dragons.
In the men's division, the Rams seemed every chance of going through as either the Bulldogs had to win by 36 points or more or the Dragons had to win by at least 42.
It seemed a tall order but the Dragons turned on their attacking flair at Taree and ran out 52-10 winners to condemn the Cameron Greenhalgh-coached Rams to fifth spot on the ladder.
The women also finished in fifth after the Bulldogs made it two wins from the two preliminary rounds by downing the Dragons 12-4.
NSW Rugby League's Regional Operations Coordinator for Western, Evan Jones, admitted the weekend's results came as a real blow.
"I think the competitiveness of both sides was there but the results just needed to be better," he said.
"It's always difficult in a two-week format to properly put your best foot forward but they were unlucky to miss out.
"Hopefully next year it's a five-week format alongside the under 16s and under 18s."
The junior competitions, the Laurie Daley Cup and Andrew Johns Cup, feature five round games before finals.
The weekend's results mean Western will only be represented in the under 18s during Saturday's semi-finals at the Central Coast.
The Kurt Hancock-coached Rams scored four wins and a draw from their five games.
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