Ian Watson reveals impact of Wakefield pitch on Huddersfield players

Friday’s Betfred Super League fixture between Wakefield Trinity and Huddersfield Giants went ahead as scheduled. The playing surface at the Be Well Support Stadium was inspected before hand, and the clubs agreed that the match should go ahead. Monitoring of the surface will continue over the coming weeks.

The pitch became a talking point after Round One when Catalans Dragons coach Steve McNamara complained about the pitch.

McNamara had said of the pitch after the game:

“It was a pretty tough game on a pitch that took skin of your legs. The boys there, their legs are red raw. It’s an issue. It’s an issue for Wakefield moving forward for their players. I haven’t seen anything like that before in terms of the blisters and blood that’s in there off that field there.”

When asked if he was a fan, he said: “No I’m not a fan, not if that’s the outcome. If the outcome is that, then definitely. It’s going to create issues I’m sure. We haven’t got to play on it again but they have to play on it every other week.

“I didn’t quite realise it was like that before we came. We’d seen pictures but it’s an issue.”

He then stated: “That’s the worst dressing room I’ve seen for skin taken off legs without a doubt.”

After the decision was made Huddersfield boss Ian Watson revealed that he was desperate for the game to go ahead after his side missed Round One due to St Helens playing in the World Club Challenge.

He revealed that the Giants offered plenty of solutions as he said that Wakefield should have considered an alternate stadium.

The game went ahead and the Giants won a tight affair 8-0 with Joe Greenwood scoring the only try of the contest.

Speaking after the game, Ian Watson confirmed that some of his players, such as Theo Fages, used protective clothing for the game but even that tore.

However, unlike the Catalans squad, most of his players were okay:

“Because we play on it I think we’re a little more battle hardened. He’s split his tights, he’s got a hole in them but other than that everyone looks pretty good to be fair,” he said to BBC Sport West Yorkshire.

Watson also gave his verdict on the Wakefield pitch:

“It’s good to get off the mark and I thought it was a well earned win. We knew coming in that it would be tough off the back of Wakefield’s defeat against Wigan so we knew they’d turn up and play with pride. For them they’ve got something to work from and for us a massive positive was the nil and the defensive resolve we showed.

“I think it was a bit of toing and froing. It was a really good arm wrestle mentality and both teams had resilience. To keep teams to nil in Super League is a big task and to come away like that we’re delighted.

“For what we wanted to see and I think for what the boys needed to see and feel as well. Being in that kind of game against an opposition like that and just stay at it, away from home and do the tough stuff and be willing to keep doing it was really pleasing. So I’d say it was the perfect game for us after last week.

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