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RFU advice on pitch care during the hot weather

MANAGING RUGBY PITCHES DURING HOT WEATHER AND DROUGHT

IF YOU HAVE ACCESS TO IRRIGATION

- Make sure your watering system is working efficiently. Check sprinkler arcs, hoses, nozzles

- Water only the essential areas.

- Do not water during the day.

- Reduce the frequency of watering and water more thoroughly each time, to get moisture well into the soil.

- Do not allow puddles to form or surface run-off to occur.

- Improve infiltration of water by spiking (not slitting) and use of wetting agents

- Raise the height of cut when mowing. If possible return clippings to help to act as mulch.

 IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO IRRIGATION

- Be prepared to close specific problem areas that have become dangerous.

- Do not apply pesticide or fertiliser.

- Continue to mow, but not as frequently and when possible increase the height of cut (approx. 75mm). The grass will survive better in the long term with careful mowing rather than none at all.

- Aeration is a must, this does not have to be deep (be careful if the ground is too hard which could damage the tines)

- Stop any verti-cutting or scarification as the surface area for the sun to dry will be increased

- If a Water Authority decides to impose a ban look through the precise terms of the ban and assess its application and relevance to the club.

AFTER THE DROUGHT

- Reinstate any severely damaged areas as soon as conditions and water availability allows.

- Wetting agents should still be used to help with rewetting of drought-damaged or waterrepellent turf.

- After the immediate problems have been dealt with it may be necessary to revise the management strategy to minimise future problems.

The following points should be considered:

            Alleviate compaction and eliminate excessive thatch to encourage deeper rooting.

  •  If possible, manage turf to favour drought-tolerant species o Update the irrigation system to improve efficiency.
  •  Investigate alternative water sources and increase the water storage capacity.

GENERAL ADVICE

Good maintenance practices will encourage the development of a vigorous healthy sward with a deep root system, which will be able to withstand the effects of drought better than a weak sward with shallow rooting long term.

08 Aug 18

Electronic Mach Card Training

Electronic match cards are being extended to levels 7 and 8 in the coming season.

The RFU is holding a number of training sessions around the country aimed not only at those new clubs now involved but also those at levels 5 and 6 who feel they would benefit from a refresher.

There are three sessions in the South West - all between 7 and 9pm

Monday 30th July - Launceston RFC

Tuesday 31st July - North Bristol RFC

Wednesday 1st August - Hungerford RFC

The London & SE Division also have a session at Twickenham Stadium on Wednesday 8th August which may be more convenient for some.

Please sign up via this form so the necessary arrangements can be made.

23 Jul 18

 

New Season's fixtures

Fixtures for the 2018-2019 season have been posted to the nominated league contact of every team taking part in the competition. They can also be viewed here. The newsletter which accompanied them is available here.

Clubs now have a number of tasks

  • Confirm their nominated league contact - this should have been done by 1st July 2018. Go here.
  • Decide if they want to move or reverse any fixtures. This must be done by mutual consent with your opponents. Both clubs need to complete the online form here. (Please note the instructions at the top of that page if you are reversing the venues of games.)
  • If playing in leagues of 12 or less decide if you want to apply for a free weekend. The form (and details of what you can apply for) is here. Every weekend between the start of the season and the end of April (except the two weeks at Christmas) is available for re-arranged matches - it is only a free weekend if you have successfully applied for it.

30 May 2018 (updated 22 Jul 18)

Fixtures out this week

The fixtures for 2018-2019 will be posted to all clubs on Tuesday 29th May and be available on this website the following morning.

14 club leagues will start on Saturday 1st September with 12 club leagues beginning the following week.

Clubs will have four weeks after the publication of the fixtures to mutually agree any changes.

 

27 May 18

We are not being idle...

Following Sunday's meeting of the SW Competitions Committee work has now started on producing the fixtures for next season.

There will be 34 leagues in the South West in 2018-19 playing nearly 6,000 fixtures.

We plan to release the fixtures by the end of the month. Updates will be posted here on the website.

Alongside that this site will be updated in preparation for the new campaign. Already the Structured Season, which most leagues will follow, is available here.

16 May 18

South West Competitions Committee's longest serving chairman stands down

Nigel "Bert" Barber has stood down as chairman of the South West Competitions Committee after 15 years at the helm.

Work commitments away from rugby have prompted the decision but he will remain on the committee as the League Secretary for South West Premier - the SW's top league.

He is replaced by Dave McAteer from Berkshire, who becomes only the fourth person to hold the job since the committee was founded in 1987.

Bert Barber and Dave McAteer

Denis Preece from Cornwall was elected the new deputy chairman

 

14 May 18

SW recognises Allan Townsend's nearly 30 years' service.

The South West Competitions Committee has presented long serving League Secretary Allan Townsend with an RFU watch to mark his retirement from League Administration.

Since 1989 he has helped run the English Clubs Championship in the South West. Initially he was responsible for the leagues in Gloucestershire before moving up through the ranks and in recent years has been in charge of South West Premier (formerly National Three South West). During that time it is estimated he has checked nearly 9,000 match cards.

Allan, who lives in Gloucester, rarely missed a competitions meeting in his time as a League Secretary and while wishing him a happy retirement, the SW will miss his wealth of experience gathered over the years.

Allan was presented with his watch by outgoing chairman Bert Barber.

​14 May 18

DRAFT 2018-2019 Structure

The provisional structure for the SW Leagues in 2018-2019 has been drawn up and can be found here

In accessing them please note the following:

1) We are still awaiting confirmation on level transfers at Level 7 and some final possible adjustments in Gloucestershire, Somerset & Berks, Bucks & Oxon.

2) The publishing of this document is for clubs' information and to allow any omissions to be pointed out - it is not intended to spark a debate about which league a club would like to be in.

Once the structure is confirmed work will commence on the fixtures with the intention of publishing them at the end of May.

10 May 18

No joy for the SW at RFU Vase day

Some of the warmest weather seen in early May was the backdrop for RFU Cup Finals day at Twickenham.  South Molton and Saltash flew the South West colours, bidding for success in the Junior and Senior Vases.

Kicking off at 11am South Molton were soon up against it in their Junior Vase Final tie with Old Otliensians and by half time were trailing 24-9.

However they went up through the gears in the second half to score two tries through Zak Stoneman and Daniel Smith to narrow the gap to 24-21 and send the tie into a tense final period.

Old Otliensians were not finished and, with South Molton having a second player yellow carded, finally sealed the game with their fifth try followed by a penalty with almost the last kick of the match to win 32-21.

Next on stage was the Senior Vase final between Saltash and Wath upon Dearne.  With the unseasonal bank holiday weather again forcing frequent drinks breaks it was a stop start affair.

Wath took an early three point lead but Saltash, runners up in the Tribute Cornwall/Devon League, soon overtuned the deficit with an unconverted try and a penalty.  Wath then dominated play to once again regain the advantage, leading 22-13 with ten minutes to go.

Saltash kept the pressure on and set up a grandstand finish putting the disappointment of a disallowed try behind them to cross the line again to narrow the gap to four points with two minutes to go but could not make a final crucial score with Wath winning 22-18 to avenge their defeat by Wells in the 2012 final.

06 May 18

 

Cornwall celebrates 10 years of Tribute

Clubs from all over Cornwall were at St Austell Brewery on Friday night (4th May) to mark ten years of the Tribute Ale presentation evenings and the teams' successes on the field throughout the 2017-18 season.

Tribute Western Counties West - St Ives

Tribute Cornwall One - Liskeard-Looe

Tribute Cornwall Two - Helston

In addition Redruth Albany picked up the You've Earned it Trophy.  Despite winning only one league game all season the side the team have solidered on - even bouncing back after their pitch was vandalised.

 

06 May 18

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