Cape Town - The recent heat wave in the Cape has left the Newlands rugby stadium’s playing surface in a less than desired state.
Stadium manager Julian Barnard faces a race against time to improve the playing surface before the Stormers’ first Super Rugby home match against the Bulls next Saturday (February 27).
Parts of the field, especially the one corner between the Railway and Danie Craven stands, looked in a particular bad state when the Stormers faced the Jaguares in a pre-season match last Saturday.
“It should look better than what it currently does when the Stormers and the Bulls are playing, but it won’t be the Newlands field which everyone is used to,” Barnard told Netwerk24.
“I’ll probably cop some criticism, but hopefully the Stormers win, because as long as that happens, then everyone’s happy.
“I planted a new type of seed in November last year and it takes longer to grow. The heat wave hit us badly and it made the grass weak. As a result, it became susceptible to diseases.”
Barnard added that everything was done "according to the book" in order to prepare the field.
Cooler weather for Cape Town is expected in the coming days which should help matters.The Newlands turf during the Stormers' clash against the Jaguares last Saturday - @FrontRowGrunt