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Magners League: NG Dragons P-P Cardiff Blues (Mon)

Rodney Parade
The Rodney Parade pitch has failed a Boxing Day pitch inspection

Newport Gwent Dragons' bumper festive south Wales Magners League derby with Cardiff Blues has been postponed due to snow and a frozen Rodney Parade pitch.

The Dragons had appealed to fans to help clear their pitch, which does not have undersoil heating, on Monday in a desperate bid to get their big game on.

The pitch is covered in 500 tonnes of snow but after temperatures of minus 11, the game has been called-off.

The decision was made as temperatures are forecast to be similar on Sunday.

Frost covers on top of the Rodney Parade pitch has been covered in a blanket of snow since last weekend - and the snow was insulating the pitch which until Christmas Day was soft and playable.

The pitch was then due to be cleared by an army of supporters on the morning of the Welsh derby.

But following sub-zero night-time temperatures, the pitch at Rodney Parade had frozen meaning the Dragons had to make the difficult decision for what captain Tom Willis had described "arguably their biggest game of the season."

Rodney Parade stadium manager Mark Jones admitted: "We are obviously bitterly disappointed...but we have been beaten by extraordinary weather conditions.

"We would like to extend an enormous thank you to all of the supporters who offered to come in and help in the morning.

"There is no doubt that without that help, the game would have been 100% off several days ago.

"Everyone at the region was blown away by the level of support that came from the fans. We're terribly disappointed for all of our supporters who were clearly willing to put in a lot of work to see this game go ahead."

The derby match will be played at a later date to be scheduled by Celtic Rugby in conjunction with both teams.



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see also
Willis fires up Dragons for derby
23 Dec 10 |  NG Dragons
Cold disrupts Welsh festive sport
28 Dec 10 |  Wales
Rush handed one-week suspension
22 Dec 10 |  Cardiff Blues
Wasps 37-10 Dragons
19 Dec 10 |  Rugby Union
Blues 19-23 Northampton
19 Dec 10 |  Rugby Union


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