SOUTHERN Beaches coach Tim Chidgey has questioned the value of Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union setting aside a weekend to play washed-out matches if clubs decline to use it.
Chidgey is annoyed that Beaches’ crucial clash against Merewether, which was rained out on Saturday, will be played at Townson Oval tonight instead of the designated free date this weekend.
Last weekend was the first round this season affected by wet weather.
Both clubs have to agree on a date for rescheduled fixtures.
‘‘It is hard to understand why we have a wet weekend when we don’t use it,’’ Chidgey said.
‘‘We could have dug our heels in and said no [to playing on Tuesday].
‘‘The clubs have 14 days to come up with a suitable date and if you can’t agree the NHRU steps in.
‘‘I’d rather play sooner than later. I didn’t want a situation where we had to play three games in seven days.’’
The Greens-Beaches match was the only game postponed last weekend.
Wanderers transferred their game against Maitland from No.2 Sportsground, which has been closed until September, to Marcellin Park.
The battle between Hamilton and The Waratahs was moved from Passmore Oval to Hawkins Oval.
‘‘We offered them Cahill Oval and they didn’t want it,’’ Chidgey said.
‘‘Their reason was that they had commitments to their sponsors and that is why they did not want to move grounds.
‘‘We wanted to play this Saturday on the spare wash-out weekend but they were unavailable to play.
‘‘It is pretty disappointing.’’
Merewether coach Stacey Sykes said Newcastle City Council had closed Townson Oval after an inspection on Saturday morning. the club’s back-up home venue, Gibbs Brothers Oval, was booked.
‘‘The reason why we went for midweek is that the wet weather is forecast to return on Thursday,’’ Sykes said.
Beaches are likely to be without key men Kane Quinlan and Tim Riley tonight.
‘‘We will be missing a couple of blokes who are away working, but that is life,’’ Chidgey said.
‘‘We will shuffle things around. At the end of the day, we have to play them.
‘‘I told our president, Mitch Ostle, ‘I don’t care if we have to play them in a car park, let’s do it.’’’
Chidgey expected the conjecture over the rescheduling would ‘‘add a bit of spice’’ to the game.
‘‘Absolutely,’’ he said. ‘‘They have loved sticking it to Beaches over the years.
‘‘At the end of 80minutes, win, lose or draw, they will know they have played a game of rugby. They have a couple of solid forwards, but with the pack we have I think we can unsettle them.’’
Southern Beaches humbled the Greens 35-10 in their first encounter at Cahill Oval in round four.
Sykes said Merewether will be at full strength tonight.
‘‘They beat us quite convincingly, and for us, it is about making amends,’’ Sykes said.
‘‘We have to aim up in the forwards and match them at the set piece. That will be the challenge – matching their big forwards.’’