Goodbye winter – erm hello March

November 29, 2011  •  Leave a Comment

I cover a lot of games in National Conference, Rugby Leagues flagship amateur competition last weekend “we” said goodbye to Winter rugby as the last game was played before the switch to summer.

Ironically we said goodbye in weather that you’d typically associate with November in Yorkshire, rain was coming in sideways aided by a cutting wind that soaked all 897 speccies, officials, players and photographers to the bone – accept those with the foresight to place themselves in the window of the club house and set up a supply chain from there to the bar!

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So roll on next season “Summer Rugby” here we come, it’ll be barmy, short sleeve weather for all, except for when the season starts in March (earlier no doubt for those clubs in the Challenge Cup!) or when it ends in October when no doubt it’ll be a bit parky and if the final’s in Yorkshire I’ll assume raining to!

Oh hang-on then there’ll be all those Saturdays in “Summer” when it chucks it down and we all complain about the weather and don’t even get me started on those three Saturdays when it’ll be cracking the flags and we’ll all still be complaining about the weather………….!!!

From a photography point of view I’m glad we’ll keep those muddy weekends at the start and end of the season, they can often make for a atmospheric shot, but in all honesty I can’t wait for summer rugby, even if its raining at least it’ll be warm rain!

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The debate around the switch is politically charged, but one I’ve followed from a distance with interest, whilst the pro game and some parts of the amateur game of Rugby League have played in summer for some time, some have held fast in Winter – in fact some will continue to hold fast in Winter.  The National Conference however has decided to switch.

The arguments from either side would have you believe its seismic – perhaps it is and I miss the point, but to me it seems the argument is do you want an off season in November and December or 8 weeks spread over parts of May, June and July.  So for me it would seem to boil down to when you have your 8 week break, play in “Winter” you still get exposed to the sun and sun hardened pitches of early and late summers, play in “Summer” and you still get exposed to some pretty shoddy weather.

Don’t tell the traditionalists, but I’m all for it myself – roll on the BBQ summer of 2012 – just don’t forget the umbrella!

Cheers

Marc

PS – Congratulations to Hunslet Warriors, they ran out 18-14 victors over Wigan St Pats in what was a bruising encounter that was 8-8 after 80 minutes so an extra 20 minutes was played to determine the winner.  More photos from the game can be found here.

 


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