West Wales Raiders owner Andrew Thorne has apologised to players, staff and supporters of both his club and Newcastle Thunder following the late postponement of Sunday’s League One match.
What was supposed to be a special day for the Llanelli club, which was rebranded during the off-season after playing as South Wales Ironmen last year, turned distinctly sour as a late check uncovered a problem with the matchday medical equipment that prevented the game going ahead.
The Newcastle squad had made the 312-mile trip on Saturday, staying overnight.
The postponement decision was taken an hour after the scheduled 3.00 kick-off with 347 spectators inside Stebonheath Park.
They were refunded and Thorne, who accepted his club can expect a fine from the Rugby Football League, said: “It’s hugely disappointing.
“The medication and equipment list was checked in the days leading up to the match, but it wasn’t noticed that one item was out of date.
“This came to light during the final pre-match inspection, and while we made every effort to rectify things, we weren’t going to be able to get the necessary drug until 5.30, which was too late.
“The situation was made even worse because Newcastle had travelled so far and came down the night before, and we also understand some of their fans would have made the journey on the morning of the match.
“We also had a good turn-out of our own supporters, and had done well hospitality-wise, and it goes without saying we apologise to everyone affected by the postponement.
“It’s certainly ruined what would have been our first home match as West Wales Raiders, and it’s certainly a lesson learned.”
West Wales’ next home game is against Doncaster on Sunday week, March 4.