Endeavour ruled out, CSU Orange shaping as last hope for NRC in Orange

NSW Country skipper Paddy Ryan
and his side have one more chance
to play Saturday's game in Orange.

NSW Country skipper Paddy Ryan and his side have one more chance to play Saturday's game in Orange.

Orange’s Endeavour Oval will not host the NSW Country Eagles’ National Rugby Championship (NRC) round five fixture against Perth on Saturday, it was ruled out thanks to its condition on Wednesday afternoon.

The ground is simply too waterlogged, boggy and chopped up following last weekend’s Blowes Clothing Cup grand finals and then the downpours earlier this week, NSW Country Rugby Union president Barry Ruddy said.

In short, Endeavour’s so wet you’d need an ark to get on it.

Ruddy said after last Saturday’s five grand final games he was confident Endeavour Oval could be revived, or at least brought back to a playable standard.

Then the heavens opened again, bringing torrential rain on Sunday before plenty more on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“I was confident if there was no more rain we’d be able to get Endeavour Oval up to the standard we needed it to be,” Ruddy said.

“It would’ve been wet and heavy underfoot but it would’ve been playable. But it did rain, a lot.

“We haven’t been able to get on there to do what we need to do.

“We needed to roll it, mow it, mark it, everything. Without all that we can’t play. 

“It’s disappointing but we can’t control the weather, it’s a shame it won’t be there.”

Ruddy explained all of Orange’s other grounds except one have been ruled out, that one is CSU Orange’s Ron Gordon Oval.

”It hasn’t been played on for about six weeks so it isn’t chopped up like Endeavour Oval is,” Ruddy said.

THE BIG WET: Endeavour Oval is waterlogged and has been ruled out as the host for Saturday's NRC game.

THE BIG WET: Endeavour Oval is waterlogged and has been ruled out as the host for Saturday's NRC game.

“It’s still wet, that’s a given, but it’s not chopped up.

“The big question is really whether we can get on there to mark it and mow it and that sort of thing.

“So as it stands, we’ll be doing everything we can to play the game in Orange.

“But this is all assuming it doesn’t rain again, it’s forecast to.”

One of the biggest factors in the decision will be the time frame the Eagles and Perth Spirit will need for housekeeping – changing flights and accommodation, along with other commitments.

“Perth’s schedule is the big one,” Ruddy said.

“They’re due to fly out on Friday, the Eagles are arriving Friday too.

“So they need to time to change those things if the game can’t go ahead.

“With that in mind we’ll be making a decision at 9am [on Thursday morning] to give everyone enough time to change plans.”

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