Grady accepts abandonment but disappointed

By Ian Golden | 04/03/2014

South Wales Scorpions coach Mike Grady was disappointed that his side were not given the chance to fight back to get a losing bonus point against Oldham Roughyeds last Sunday in Maesteg.

The visitors won 18-4 at the Old Parish but the game was abandoned eight minutes before the end with the Scorpions just two points off that target, as many players had gone down with hypothermia like symptoms due to the wind, sweeping rain and the now wet, muddy and freezing cold pitch.

The Rugby Football League have decided that the result will stand and Grady understood the reasons for the abandonment.

“I was a little disappointed,” he said. “I thought we played well especially in those conditions. I hoped we’d get the bonus point as the effort and commitment was there so I don’t see why we couldn’t have pushed for another try.

“At half-time when we were 12-0 down, I just told the lads that they weren’t a million miles away as far as the skill level went. Our own individual errors put us under pressure in the first half and I told them that we needed to tighten those up and we responded straight away.

“A big credit to both sides though as those conditions were horrendous.”

Wales Rugby League's chief operating officer, Chris Thair, says that the club have accepted the decision of the RFL.

“We support the decision of the RFL that the result of the game should stand and thank them for the quick confirmation," he said.

"The majority of the game had passed, the players safety was paramount and the management from both clubs were happy after the game with the decision. Thankfully there are always qualified doctors present at professional games and along with the physio’s and other support resources, the players were in very safe hands throughout. 

"The adrenaline of the players matched with the weather conditions took many players to the point of exhaustion. Coupled to this the players have a low percentage of body fat which makes them very susceptible to the cold. It became apparent more players in the second half were suffering from symptoms associated with hypothermia.  

"You had to be there to appreciate how bad the weather was and both sides had players on the floor of the showers unable to move for 20 minutes after the game. There were a couple of blue lips and fingers plus a lot of players with a lack of feeling in arms, hands and legs after the game but thankfully everyone has made a full recovery."

The Scorpions now face a trip to Gloucestershire All Golds next Sunday in their first away match of the season (kick-off 3pm).

Gloucestershire also lost their first match of the season on Sunday, going down 26-16 at York City Knights.

“It’ll be another tough game as both sides will want to win to kick start their season,” Grady said. “We’ll have to work hard and put in the hard graft this week if we’re to get the win. Then we’ve got Hemel Stags in the Challenge Cup in Maesteg on the 16th which is another big game.”

Tickets for South Wales Scorpions v Hemel Stags in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup on Sunday 16th March will be available on later in the week.

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