Hull KR had concerns over half of Wakefield’s hybrid playing surface

Hull KR had concerns over half of Wakefield’s hybrid playing surface

Hull KR head coach Willie Peters retains significant concerns over the hybrid pitch at the Be Well Support Stadium where his side will face Wakefield in the Betfred Super League on Friday.

The match will go ahead as scheduled following an inspection by an independent consultant appointed by the RFL, which was attended by representatives of both clubs.

However, while Peters stressed he was happy to abide by the decision, he revealed that on two previous personal visits to the stadium, Rovers representatives had fears over half of the playing surface.

“As a coach, you care about your players, and they’ve been showing me photos of players from the previous two games there, and it wasn’t good,” said Peters.

“Our concerns were on half of the pitch – one half is OK. I am not disappointed because the independent person has had a look. If the ground isn’t OK and we see similar injuries from what we’ve seen, I’d be disappointed.”

Fears over the pitch had already prompted Sky Sports to pull the plug on televising the game on Friday and switch instead to Wigan’s clash with Salford on the same night.

Salford Red Devils v Hull KR – Betfred Super League – The AJ Bell Stadium
Hull KR are preparing to head to Wakefield on Friday (Mike Egerton/PA)

Issues with the pitch, which was laid last year, arose after Wakefield’s first home game last month when Catalans Dragons coach Steve McNamara revealed several players were on antibiotics due to the nature of their injuries.

Their second match against Huddersfield earlier this month appeared to pass without a repeat of those injuries, but Peters questioned the narrative that the surface had therefore improved.

“We don’t make a song and dance over something minor,” added Peters. “I’ve seen comments saying the pitch was OK for the Huddersfield game. No, it wasn’t.

Salford Red Devils v Wakefield Trinity – Betfred Super League – AJ Bell Stadium
Wakefield remain pointless at the bottom of the Super League table (Richard Sellers/PA)

“We’d play on the road outside. It is what it is. All we can go by is that it’s passed to play on. We don’t need to talk about it with the players any more. Hopefully, the pitch is fine.”

The RFL said in a short statement that the independent consultant had confirmed the pitch had “improved significantly in the 17 days since the Huddersfield fixture on 3 March”.

Wakefield go into the game bottom of the Super League table and the only team yet to pick up a point from their first five matches.