Rain wreaks havoc on sport

The Southern Inland Rugby Union match between the Tumut Bulls and Albury Steamers went ahead at Twickenham’s training ground on Saturday after rain forced the closure of Jarrah Oval and many other Snowy Valleys Council operated sporting ground and facilities.

Many winter sporting competitions had to postpone or abandon rounds on Saturday and Sunday with rain forcing the closure of most Snowy Valleys Council operated grounds and facilities. 

The Bull Paddock, Jarrah Oval, Riverglade Oval, Tumut Hockey Fields, Adelong Showground, Tumbarumba Showground and Tumbarumba Sports Ground were all closed.

This meant Tumut and District Hockey, Murray Cup and Upper Murray Football and Netball League competition games couldn’t be played, while the Tumut Bulls had to take their home game against the Albury Steamers to Twickenham’s training ground on Saturday.

Additionally, Football Wagga cancelled their round of matches right across the Riverina, with the Tumut Eagles, who were meant to have played in Wagga on Saturday and Young on Sunday, left without a game for the second time in recent weeks due to poor weather.

Tumut Netball Association also made the decision to cancel all games after waking up to a cold and drizzly Saturday morning. 

Tumba/Batlow Minor League club did manage to host their Group 9 Junior Rugby League round nine games against Tumut Minor League at Batlow Showground on Saturday, albeit with snow falling throughout the day. 

In one of the feel-good stories out of the weekend, the Tumut Bulls Rugby Club were helped by the Tumut Blues Rugby League Club, who went above and beyond to make sure their cross-code neighbour’s match went ahead. 

Although playing on a saturated Twickenham training ground, a terrific game of rugby ensued between Tumut and Albury, with the home side winning 29-6. 

Bulls president David West explained the game was up in the air from Friday morning, with the Victorian Covid-19 lockdown and the wet weather throwing multiple spanners in the works.

“It started 7.30am Friday morning and I knew we were going to have problems getting that game going with the Covid-19 lockdown in Victoria,” West said

“At that stage, it was definite that Albury weren’t going to have reserve and ladies’ teams, but they still had a strong first-grade squad. But when council rang me at 2pm on Friday, we were told we wouldn’t be able to use the ground (Jarrah Oval).”

The Bulls, who are chasing an all-important Southern Inland Rugby Union top four position, were then facing the unwanted possibility of taking their home game to Wagga or Albury, until the Tumut Blues opened up their home ground to the Red and Blacks.

“It was looking like we would play at Conolly (Wagga) or Albury, and that was not the option we wanted to take being so close to the top four,” West said.

“The suggestion was made to ask the Blues and without their help, we couldn’t have gone ahead.”

Despite the ground being marked out for rugby league and water covering large patches of the playing surface, referee Brendon Reynolds took to the field, and both sides dug deep, playing in tough conditions but offering an entertaining contest.  

“The ground wasn’t marked correctly, but the referees and players acknowledged all of that for a game of rugby,” West said.

As cliché as it may sound, rivalries were thrown out the window and sport was the winner on the day and West offered his thanks to the Tumut Blues for their help.

“Most of all, we have to thank the Blues for their assistance in opening up the ground, change rooms and canteen,” West said.

“Without that help, we might not have been able to make our charge for fourth position.”

As far as training and playing goes as winter codes head into this week, Snowy Valleys Council grounds are expected to open on Monday, and anyone wanting more information should visit their Facebook page or website for updates.