The snow covered Dan Paltinisanu Stadium pitch in Romania
LIMERICK rugby referee Joy Neville endured a frustrating weekend as the Challenge Cup game she had been due to take charge of in Romania was postponed due to heavy snowfall.
Former World Rugby Referee of the Year Neville was due to take charge of the meeting of Timisoara Saracens and Northampton Saints at the Dan Paltinisanu Stadium at lunchtime on Saturday.
However, former Ireland international Neville was forced to postpone the fixture 20 minutes before the 12:30 GMT start time in Romania, despite attempts to clear the pitch of several feet of snow.
The game represented a 2,700 mile round-trip for Neville and for the Northampton Saints squad and their supporters.
Tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby issued a statement, saying: "Heavy snow rendered the pitch at the Dan Paltinisanu Stadium unplayable, leaving match referee Joy Neville with no option but to cancel the fixture.
"With snow continuing to fall in Romania, no alternative options were available to play the match. The Northampton Saints squad and management team are returning to England. The fixture will be the subject of a review which will take place shortly. EPCR will be making no further comment until a decision is announced."
A trip il never forget, when stuck, muck in...6 hours later sat on a plane to be asked to help clear the snow and try departing again @SaintsRugby in action lacking shuvles but still giving it welly.. @ERChallengeCup #Romania #snowday #wanttogethome #Christmas pic.twitter.com/mphfd9Etwk— Joy Neville (@JoyNevilleRef) December 15, 2018
The drama was not over yet for Limerick referee Neville as her flight home was also delayed due to snowfall at her airport in Romania.
Joy Neville tweeted that it was a trip she would never forget.
She added: “When stuck, muck in...6 hours later sat on a plane to be asked to help clear the snow and try departing again @SaintsRugby in action lacking shuvles but still giving it welly.”