"It was one of those very frustrating mornings. When the weather is doubtful, and an early-morning pitch inspection is arranged, the scenario is always the same. Whatever time is agreed, there will always be an advance party of wise men already on the ground beforehand.

Usually spread across the field, heads down as if searching for a lost contact lens, pausing regularly to stoop to inspect irregular patches of the surface, and to pass sage judgements on the prospects of play.

Occasionally, glances move skywards to consider thawing possibilities, cloud formations and weather forecasts. These have to considered alongside comparisons of pitch conditions earlier in the week, and at various milestone occasions in the past.

When all this information has been carefully assembled, collated and computed; discussed at length and views exchanged with interested stakeholders, the conclusion is usually that there is no conclusion, and that another inspection will be necessary later.

Almost always a former player will make a passing visit to take a cursory look, proclaim surprise that there is any doubt, and helpfully pronounce that he has played on worse.

We were grateful to Nigel Pearson for discharging this invaluable role this week, though he is part of a large squad available for the purpose.

At 9.30am, I thought the prospects were reasonably good. Much of the ground was already playable and the frost was disappearing from the grass.

Sadly, this proved to be a triumph of optimism over realism. At 11.30, almost no further thawing had taken place, and everywhere that there was not a thick grass covering was hard and crusty.

There is always an irony in postponements in these circumstances. The ground looks absolutely immaculate, the day is still and sunny.

Overhead conditions are perfect. Passing motorists can't understand why there is no game. The players must be getting soft. No wonder they can't win.

Postponement usually gives rise to speculation which does the human character no credit.

There must be some reason for wanting to do so. They must have players out. They've got a wedding on the re-arrangement date. So and so is suspended. To the credit of Mowden Park, there was none on this occasion.

Rather unfashionably, they accepted that rugby can't be played on a frozen field, and that another date was available.

The referee was turned around at Scotch Corner. Doubtless he joined the players, sponsors and officials in finding a very acceptable alternative entertainment in the compelling televised showdown between England and New Zealand.

The international game provided a modest prelude at Kendal to a fund-raising Race Night, in aid of Wayne Broadley, tragically still hospitalised after a serious injury playing for the 2nd XV earlier in the season.

It is to the massive credit of the indefatiguable Craig Hine and his fundraising team that this raised almost £ 4,000 for this worthiest of causes, and at the same time relieved the bar of most of its contents.

Even in the modern era, there is more to a rugby club than events on the field.Fortunately.