University still hoping to be able to play on home turf

University of Otago Oval. Photo: Christine O'Connor
University of Otago Oval. Photo: Christine O'Connor
University has not given up hope of playing at home on the University of Otago Oval this season.

The club had agreed not to play any rugby at the venue this season, so work could be carried out to upgrade the drainage in time for the Women’s Cricket World Cup.

But that work was delayed due to Covid-19 which presented the Bookworms with an opportunity for two or three home games.

One of those was rubbed out at the weekend. Its game against Alhambra-Union was shifted to Logan Park.

That decision was made about two weeks earlier.

Club chairman Paul Hessian said it was just too wet and the surface was not suitable. That leaves the club with two dates — the July 18 fixture against Green Island and the August 1 against Zingari-Richmond.

The ground is unavailable from the end of July but Hessian understands the club has been given an exemption for August 1.

"I’m not an expert but I’m looking at the grass on that wicket block and I think it is going to be marginal whether we can get on, particularly with all the rain we’ve had.

"The decision has been left to us and we will consult widely on the safety issues associated with it which is the main thing."

Hessian said the weather would need to improve for there to be any chance.

"Unfortunately it is not very good news but it is what it is."

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