Catalans Dragons beat Wakefield Trinity to start the season.
It was played in front of the backdrop of a stadium that is excitingly being redeveloped.
Trinity in the end didn’t get the win they wanted despite some encouraging signs against Catalans Dragons tonight.
This will have delighted Applegarth’s opposite number Steve McNamara but the Catalans coach was less than pleased by the pitch.
As part of the redevelopment, Wakefield have a new pitch which marries an artificial turf with the real thing.
However, McNamara revealed its gory consequence for his players.
He said 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.”
Now, speaking to L’Independent, two Catalans players have slammed the pitch/
“I alerted my teammates. For once, I’m doing well, but it’s because of a wound like that that I had a big infection during the World Cup,” skipper Ben Garcia said meanwhile, fellow forward Mika Goudemand added: “I’m not in pain, but it’s swollen and I feel that it’s heating up.”
Meanwhile, the French publication has confirmed that the club has “alerted” the RFL.
“The high amount of sand meant that the players finished the match with their knees skinned – some quite significantly. The risk of infection is high, even if our medical staff has taken the measures in care and disinfection after the match, and the next day at the hotel. We lose time in recovery and preparing for our next game, because knee flexion is painful and because we must always limit the risk of infection. I don’t know what the exact problem is with their pitch, but it could be problematic for the teams that play there,” said sporting director Neil McIlroy.
Following this, Sky Sports’ Jenna Brooks revealed last night that things are in place at Wakefield to deal with the situation.
She said: “Plans are in place to rectify the problem.”
Now according to iNews, the RFL has instructed its independent contractor to inspect Wakefield’s pitch again before it will green-light the playing surface for Friday night’s clash with Huddersfield Giants.
This comes as they reported that before the start of the season the pitch was inspected and green lit by the RFL.
If Trinity fail the inspection, the game could be postponed.