NRL’s head of football Graham Annesley is confident the surface at Campbelltown Stadium had no impact on a raft of injuries at the ground over the weekend.
The turf became choppy in Manly’s win over Canberra on Sunday, which was the third game to be played at the ground in as many days.
On Saturday Wests Tigers players Alex Twal (knee) and Robert Jennings (hamstring) were both taken from the field, while Manly’s Tom Trbojevic (hamstring) was the biggest injury on Sunday.
Sea Eagles’ centre Brad Parker also slipped on the surface, colliding with Raiders forward Sia Soliola and suffering a concussion that ended his afternoon.
Since the NRL competition resumed four weeks ago, eight games have been played at the venue, and coupled with last weekend’s wet weather, the surface has not held up satisfactorily.
Although the NRL has moved Thursday’s match between Penrith and Warriors to Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Annesley said it was to give the clubs the best possible surface for a quality game.
“Campbelltown has been under a lot of stress in terms of the number of games that it’s hosted, but the weather over the course of the weekend didn’t help us,” Annesley said on Monday.
“We just felt that it was appropriate to give the game the opportunity to be played on a surface that was going to do the game justice.”
Netstrata Jubilee Stadium was decided as the next best option while games are being held at neutral venues until round eight.
When asked if he was confident that the Campbelltown Stadium surface played no part in injuries, he said: “I am. Clearly the conditions can affect any game but it’s not a player safety issues as such.
“Of course we’re always concerned about player safety, we want them to play on the best possible surface.
“Given the wear and tear that Campbelltown has been under since we came back from our break we (wanted to) work proactively to ensure we give the players the best possible opportunity to play on a surface that’s going to do the game justice and provide the best possible surface for the players.”