The Manly Sea Eagles have had a horrific start but were still first on the board against the Canberra Raiders.
Campbelltown Stadium has been getting plenty of business in the NRL this season as one of the three stadiums used in NSW this season alongside Bankwest Stadium and Central Coast Stadium.
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And the overuse may have contributed to two injuries in two minutes within the opening four minutes of the game.
Sea Eagles five-eighth Dylan Walker was the first down landing on his leg that got caught under his body as he was tackled.
While a common injury in the NRL, it’s uncommon for so much turf to be dug up on the surface.
Fox Sports’ Warren Smith pointed out there was plenty of dirt and grass that had come up in the Walker injury.
“That is a lot of turf that’s come up under him as he’s come down as his body weight came down on the leg folded beneath him,” Smith said.
Less than two minutes later, Bradley Parker was laid out on the surface after seemingly being knocked out when he slipped.
Raiders prop Iosia Soliola came over the top but appeared to miss, but Parker was worse for wear laying prone on the ground after seemingly hitting his head on the ground.
Bradley Parker knocked out untouchedSource:FOX SPORTS
“It’s a bizarre opening four minutes,” Corey Parker said. “Manly Sea Eagles are going to be down two players already, it’s very unlikely we’re going Parker return after images like that.”
Smith added: “Can’t remember a start to a game like this where a team has lost not one but two players inside the opening four minutes.”
Little slips continued throughout the half but despite the early issued, Tom Trbojevic answered back by sliding over for the first try of the game.
But the issues with the ground were obvious to fans on social media.
Huge trouble. But seriously – what’s with the surface????
Players should have worn the long studs today#NRLRaidersManly #NRL pic.twitter.com/RKu4RgsNDA
What’s with this playing surface? #NRLRaidersManly pic.twitter.com/TmvuOs5E0r
So why is this a penalty? Brad Parker just fell on his own no one touched him – awful refereeing. #NRLRaidersManly
How is this game such a high key disaster after literally four minutes? #NRLRaidersManly
Worst possible start for Manly with Dylan Walker and Brad Parker gone within first 4 minutes.
At half-time, following some injuries for the Tigers and the two early in this match, Ben Ikin said
“Whether or not the surface is related remains to be seen but it’s enough I’m thinking tfor the NRL to look at playing games back to back,” he said. “You can just look to see how chopped up the surface is.”
Nathan Hindmarsh said it was understandable and gave credit to the groundstaff.
It’s not an issue that will last too long with the teams going back to home grounds in round 8, all except the Warriors.
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