THE weather could be the major winner as clubs across the region await the results of pitch inspections before confirming whether or not any action will take place.
Blaydon’s Crow Trees ground will today be assessed ahead of Blackheath’s National One trip, with a lunchtime inspection aimed at avoiding the London club making a wasted journey.
Club secretary Jim Huxley did not rule out the possibility of match action, stating: “There is a layer of snow covering 90% of the pitch and the ground underneath the snow seems to be OK.
“The biggest question mark will probably be over the small areas of the field which the snow is not covering and we have an RFU referee coming at 1pm to inspect the surface and make a decision.
“Under the league’s regulations we cannot call the game off any earlier than that lunchtime inspection regardless of how bad it is.
“It is not completely unthinkable we could still get the game on.”
Should tomorrow’s game be postponed the match would be played on Saturday February 9, Huxley adding: “The reserve dates are given to us by the league and are set in stone.
“The downside of this particular date is it comes the day after England Counties’ game against Irish Wolfhounds in Cork.
“We have Matt Hall and Robbie Kalbraier selected and Blackheath have two involved themselves, plus it is also an international weekend, so from a spectator point of view it is not ideal.”
Tynedale face a similar wait over their trip to Cinderford, with the Gloucestershire club running the rule over their ground at lunchtime today.
Chairman of rugby John Shotton said: “The temperature down there is expected to be three or four degrees better than here but we will just have to see what snow comes down both in terms of getting the match played and us being able to get there on our bus.”
Darlington Mowden Park are scheduled to host their last home game at Yiewsley Drive against Huddersfield tomorrow before playing into the town’s arena on February 2 for the first time.
Flanker Will Macauley is expected to miss out through injury, while at the other end of the table relegation-threatened Westoe are due to travel to Preston Grasshoppers.