SATURDAY’S postponement meant we didn’t have to learn five things from Newport County AFC v Forest Green Rovers but the one thing we did learn is that the new Rodney Parade pitch is not invulnerable.

Referee Christopher Sarginson’s decision to call the game off due to a waterlogged pitch was predictably met with howls of outrage in some quarters and it left Rovers boss Mark Cooper practically frothing at the mouth.

Some County fans recalled the words of Principality Stadium manager Mark Williams, who was part of the WRU consultation group tasked with improving the Rodney Parade pitch last summer.

The Welsh Rugby Union’s takeover of the Dragons prompted them to commit £750,000 to overhaul the drainage and irrigation systems and install a state-of-the-art hybrid playing surface installed.

And, as work got under way last year, Williams said: “Flooding at Rodney Parade will be a thing of the past and the playing surface will be stable and consistent and fit for purpose.

“It may not always be ‘picture perfect’ but what you get with this system is the security that the pitch will be playable all year round and free from the kind of problems which have threatened fixtures in the past.”

Even the ever-cautious Mark Jones, head of operations at Rodney Parade, said: “I would expect us to play every game.

“It might not look pretty when we go through the tough periods but the work we’ve done this summer should remove the doubts about games going ahead.”

It’s understandable, therefore, that frustrations should surface when a game falls foul of the Welsh winter.

But by the same stage of last season we had already seen one County match postponed and two abandoned at half-time.

And the Dragons had also seen their Anglo-Welsh Cup fixture against Newcastle brought to a close 12 minutes early due to horrendous conditions.

South Wales Argus:

The surface and drainage system are clearly in better shape than they were 12 months ago (above) and one postponement does not mean anyone should write off that £750,000 as money wasted.

Cooper, whose team are fighting for their lives at the wrong end of the League Two table, was obviously frustrated at missing out on playing County at what he saw as an ideal time after their FA Cup exploits at Wembley.

Having made the journey to Newport, albeit a short one from Gloucestershire, he was clearly keen to get the game on but his sniping at the referee was uncalled for.

The one point he did make that I’d support was his call for separate football and rugby weekends at Rodney Parade.

It makes no sense whatsoever to have the Dragons play on Friday night, as they did last week, followed by County on a Saturday.

And that crazy situation is repeated this week with Newport RFC hosting Llanelli on Friday night, the Exiles welcoming Notts County on Saturday and the Dragons taking on Treviso on Sunday.

It’s a scenario that Jones was desperate to avoid and he made clear last summer that he still expected difficulties.

“We are still mindful of the fact that we are the only stadium in Britain that hosts three teams and the fixtures don’t come to us like we would put them on the calendar,” he said.

“Sometimes there are three on the same weekend. That’s a huge challenge and it still will be going forward.

“If there was a turf maintenance manual, at Rodney Parade you would have to rip it up and throw it in the bin.

“Managing expectations is key, only because we haven’t reduced our fixtures,” he added.

“Every expert in the field will tell you that the fixture list doesn’t allow you to do the renovation and maintenance between games that you would ordinarily do on a turf surface.

“The fixture list is huge. I think we’ve got nine fixtures in December with matches on the 23rd, Boxing Day, the 30th, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

“And when they come like that there’s no maintenance time in between.”

Nobody wants to see postponements like Saturday, let alone a return to the embarrassments of last season.

Surely it’s in everyone’s interest to, as Cooper put it, “sort it out” and minimise the overlap of football and rugby fixtures at Newport’s premier sporting venue.

It goes without saying that it is extremely complicated to co-ordinate the fixtures of three different clubs overseen by three different governing bodies.

But is it too much to ask that the English Football League, the Pro14 and the WRU at least do all they can to ensure that County, the Dragons and Newport have the best possible pitch to play on?