Billericay Rugby Football Club players

Billericay Rugby Club face an anxious wait over where they'll play their RFU Junior Vase fifth round clash.

The club saw an attempt to play the tie for a second time against Old Gravesendians fail on Saturday, and must get the match on this weekend as the sixth round is to played the following weekend.

And with the weather forecast for the weekend again looking wet, Billericay are considering playing on a artificial pitch.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="David Hyett"]We're not sure where we're going to play it," revealed first-team coach Dave Hyett. "There's a lot of rain due this weekend and we don't want to risk it again on our pitch. We've looked into playing it at Blackheath and at Saracens as they have artificial pitches. I've played on artificial grass before and it's good. It'll mean there'll be a nice pace to the game instead of being stuck in the mud. It'll be a level playing field for both teams rather than suiting one or the other.[/quote]

On Saturday, the referee had deemed the Willowbrook Sports & Social Club pitch playable, but as it got closer to kick-off Old Gravesendians refused to play.

Hyett said: "They didn't think it was safe to play. It's the referee's decision up to two hours before the kick-off and then the two captains have agree and obviously we didn't. I didn't think it was that bad, I've played on a lot worse. It was the second time that it's been postponed and it's getting quite frustrating."

The club have a fine tradition with the competition having reached the final at Twickenham in 1999 and 2007. And victory would put them in the south east semi-final with a trip to Seaford RFC in East Sussex.

Hyett said on their potential opposition in the next round: "We've never played them before, I think they're mid-table in their division and it's another winnable game for us, just like Old Gravesendians is.

"Looking at the teams left in the competition they're all beatable. There's at least five players in the team that were with us when we last went to Twickenham and through them and the pictures on the wall there's a constant reminder of what it means to the club."

However, the cup run means it will be a third consecutive week away from league action, with Billericay currently five points clear at the top of Essex Division One.

"We've at least two league games to fit in before the end of the season, but if the weather carries on and we do well in the cup it could be more," said Hyett. "There could be a backlog. There's a couple of free weekends left but because the weather has been so bad I'd think there will be some extension to the season."

Article and image from Brentwood Gazette


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