Easts have sensationally forfeited their John I Dent Cup match against the Tuggeranong Vikings four days after being thrashed 92-0, and there are fears for the foundation club's future in the competition.
It is believed to be the first time in recent history a first XV team has failed to have enough players for a game.
Easts' decision to withdraw from first grade, second grade and colts matches against Tuggeranong is a major blow for the competition's strength.
Easts contacted Tuggeranong on Tuesday and cited 28 injuries across all grades as the major reason for forfeiting the clash on Wednesday night at Viking Park.
The game was being played as a make-up match for the round-one washout. But it pitted competition strugglers Easts against Tuggeranong just four days after the Vikings romped to a 92-0 win on the weekend.
Easts is the only foundation club left in Canberra's premier rugby competition. But it has struggled to be competitive since making the grand final in 2008 and has won only a handful of games in recent years.
First XV coach Jeremy Osborne quit the post 10 days ago and has been replaced for the rest of the season as the club searches for a successor.
There are just seven teams in the John I Dent Cup and Tuggeranong coach Brad Harris hoped Easts could stay strong in the top grade.
''We were expecting them to play, and would have loved a game [on Wednesday night],'' Harris said. ''But we understand Easts are in a difficult position as a club and it's hard to look selfishly at the situation.
''We hope they get back on track ... they're a foundation club going through a bit of a rough patch, and hopefully they can regroup and get back up and running for this year.
''It would be a real shame to lose a team in our competition – when you've only got seven teams, you need everyone you can get.''
The John I Dent Cup has been strengthened in recent years by ACT Brumbies players committing to club rugby in Canberra.
Easts were one of the major beneficiaries, but they have only had a few Brumbies-allocated players available to play this season.
Osborne won just four of more than 20 games since returning as coach last year. He opted to stand aside to allow the club to start planning for the future and is still playing fourth grade and helping the colts team.
In the club's matches against Tuggeranong last weekend, first grade lost 92-0, second grade lost 84-7, and the colts were beaten 81-5.
Three years ago, a struggling Easts were beaten my 100 points on multiple occasions.
It is hoped the introduction of the National Rugby Championships will further boost Canberra's club rugby ranks.
The Brumbies are set to announce their NRC squad in the coming days, with up to 16 club players to join the Brumbies' contracted allocation.
Meanwhile, Royals got redemption against Wests in their make-up game at Gungahlin Enclosed Oval on Wednesday night. Wests beat Royals at Phillip Oval on Saturday, but Royals bounced back to claim a 25-10 win four days later to ensure they remain in touch with the competition leaders.
Easts have not won a game this season and will play Wests on June 14 after the competition bye this weekend.