Festive friendlies hit by weather

James Gordon

St Helens against Wigan and Leigh versus Salford became two more victims of the icy conditions over the festive period on Sunday.

Boxing Day saw postponements at Featherstone and Widnes, although games did take place at Leeds, Castleford and Dewsbury.

Leigh made the decision to call off their friendly with Salford as it was felt the surrounding areas of the stadium were not safe for fans, with ice on approach to the ground and car parks particularly hazardous.

Shaun Currie, Safety Officer for the Leigh Sports Village, said: “As the person responsible for the safety at the stadium I felt that the conditions were such that the risk to the safety of spectators was too high to allow the game to take place.
“I apologise for any inconvenience this has caused but the safety of spectators was the most important factor in my decision making.”

Earlier, Saints’ game with Wigan was called off due to concerns over fans safety. Knowsley Road ground safety officer Bob Singleton said: “Even though there has been a significant thaw, the roads leading to the ground and pathways are still covered in ice and therefore aren’t safe.

“The car park is particularly hazardous and therefore we had no option than to call it off.”

Wakefield probably wished their game against Leeds at Headingley had fallen foul of the weather as they picked up three injuries in a 32-12 defeat. Terry Newton (calf), Damien Blanch (knuckle) and Kyle Bibb (knee) all picked up knocks.

Meanwhile, almost 3000 fans braved the weather to see Bradford defeated Castleford 26-16 at The Jungle.