Last Friday saw the Headingley Carnegie groundstaff face heavy rainfall over 24 hours, as they prepared the pitch for a Yorkshire Carnegie and Leeds Rhinos double header.

Head Groundsman, Ryan Golding, and his staff took the necessary measures during the week building up to the fixtures to ensure both matches went ahead, but he said the preparations started even earlier than this.

“As soon as the two games were announced I started looking at the weather forecast so you are always planning,” said Golding.  “We had 24ml rainfall in 24 hours which is a lot in a short space of time and I am very pleased with the way it played

“We are used to having two games running after one another as we often have curtain raisers ahead of the Super League games, but with there being two codes of rugby I was very conscious about the firmness of the pitch and the surface.  We have instruments that we can measure the firmness of the surface, we have got a clegg hammer for that so I know where we usually stand with those readings also we test the pitch for sheer strength – so we know which studs work better in certain areas and I wanted it to hold up very firm for the Rugby Union game but also for it to be ok for the Rugby League.  We did little things like slitting instead of verti-draining and made sure the consolidation of the surface was right with the mowers and things, not to roll it too many times.

“The big advantage of having a fibre sand pitch and having the pitch reconstructions is that we are able to have two games back to back like this, as well as the half time games and the pre match entertainment.  The pitch is in a great condition and I am very pleased with how it held up.”