The Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 kicked off on the 9th of August, at University College Dublin with New Zealand becoming the overall champions after they defeated England 41-32 in the final. This was the first time Ireland hosted the Women's Rugby World Cup, now in its eight year. In the run up to the event, and in between matches, our maintenance teams were meticulous (as always) about making sure the pitch was up to World Cup standards.
What's involved in pitch maintenance for a Rugby World Cup?
- Pre and post match maintenance: Our team maintains the pitch before the game, during half time and after the game to ensure the grounds are in pristine condition for all games.
- Mowing: The length of cut should be maintained at 40mm using a Cylinder Greens Mower.
- Top dressing pitch with sand to assist with drainage: The application of sand perfects surface levels following games and maximises surface water infiltration rates.
- Marking the pitch prior to games: We use a traditional transfer 'wheel to wheel' line marker for this task using a line marking paint that does not affect the grass. This process is repeated prior to each match.
- Managing irrigation for correct water and moisture levels: We take moisture readings on a daily basis and then programme the irrigation system to apply the correct volume of water to maintain the required moisture levels that the pitch requires.
- Weed and pest control: We remove by hand, any broadleaf weeds we encounter as we inspect the pitch.
- Turf nutrition: The pitch is fertilised on a monthly basis using appropriate seasonal fertiliser. This is also monitored by conducting soil analysis reports and soil samples that are taken earlier in the year.
- Post pitch care: Following matches, we will hand-fork the pitch to repair any divots made by players and fill any of the large divots with a sand soil and seed mix.
On behalf of everyone at SAP, we were very honoured to have played our own part in the Rugby World Cup this year, and would like to congratulate New Zealand on winning the Women's World Cup for 2017.