Coach expresses disgust at SCG surface in Waratahs game

It got to the point in the final minutes of the match that referee Glen Jackson told ground staff: “This is dangerous, this needs to be fixed.”

“It just shut it down didn’t it,” said Thorn of fair scrum battles. “It’s professional sport. The ground is pretty important, so that was disappointing. It looked good when we went out there … but it just didn’t have any strength to it.”

Reds captain and centre Samu Kerevi did not want blame the surface for his side’s 28-17 loss but said conditions did not favour the visitors.

“We have a pretty strong scrum and we wanted to utilise it tonight but the surface didn’t help us,” Kerevi said.

“It’s not an excuse. That game was on us as a playing group. The coaches I thought had a good game plan for us, we didn’t execute it.”

The Waratahs will no doubt speak to the SCG Trust on Sunday about the terrible state of the ground, which could have been somewhat worsened by wet weather in Sydney before the fixture.

NSW, who are unable to play at Allianz Stadium this year, have two more games at the SCG this season. Their next home fixture is against the Crusaders on March 23 and then a clash against the Melbourne Rebels on April 20.

“It’s certainly something that I’m sure the powers to be will look at and how it’s rectified for the next game,” said Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson. “It’s hard to judge what impact that had in terms of the scrum and how that all played out.

However, the state of the surface could also be a concern for the Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs, who have their NRL season opener scheduled for next Friday at the ground.

The Sydney Swans also have their first home game of the year at the SCG on March 29 against the Adelaide Crows.

Tom Decent is a journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald

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