SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 25: Kieran Foran of the Sea Eagles celebrates with team mates after scoring a try during the round seven NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Manly Sea Eagles at Bankwest Stadium, on April 25, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The Manly Sea Eagles and Parramatta Eels have had to ramp up their covid protocols after a positive RAT test was found in the room that was supposed to host the post-game press conferences.

The positive test was brought to the attention of an NRL official, who worked with both clubs to come to an alternative arrangement while waiting journalists were forced to remain in the potentially-contaminated space.

There is no confirmation where the test came from, with all media, players and staff from both clubs giving negative tests as part of the NRL’s pre-game covid procedures.

Des Hasler ultimately came to the location for a very-delayed press conference, but skipper Daly Cherry-Evans abstained in the hopes of avoiding any exposure.

Meanwhile, Parramatta coach Brad Arthur opted to move his press conference to an outside hall, holding some phones belonging to journalists in the makeshift arrangement, with the usual clamour of a stadium shutdown taking place in the background.

It’s been confirmed that players were permitted to forego their usual post-game media commitments to avoid any risk of being exposed to the virus.

Though no positive cases are yet to be reported in the aftermath to last night’s game, the experience serves as a reminder that Covid may yet have a role to play as teams head towards the finals.

Calls for the return of a bubble scenario, or for clubs to cut down on risk factors such as players associating with fans after the game, have grown louder in the media in recent time.

New South Wales is still reporting in excess of 10,000 new cases per day, with a current seven-day average of 12,609.