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Crumbling SCG surface mars Waratahs win

The SCG Trust is scrambling to get the famous venue up to scratch after it couldn't handle the Super Rugby derby between the Waratahs and Reds.

Crumbling SCG surface mars Waratahs win

The SCG Trust is scrambling to get the famous venue up to scratch after it couldn't handle the Super Rugby derby between the Waratahs and Reds.

ISRAEL FOLAU of the Wallabies takes on the defence during the Bledisloe Cup match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
ISRAEL FOLAU of the Wallabies takes on the defence during the Bledisloe Cup match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. Picture:Photo by Matt King/Getty Images

The NSW Waratahs are hoping they won't have to abandon the SCG after Australian sport's most famous playing surface was ripped apart in a Super Rugby derby hijacked by curators.

Waratahs fans had been expecting NSW's star-studded, all-Wallabies backline to light up Saturday night's showdown with the Queensland Reds.


But instead of Israel Folau finishing off dazzling Waratahs attacking raids to become Super Rugby's all-time leading tryscorer, punters suffered through a painstaking spectacle that left frantic groundsmen as busy as the players.

Shovels and rakes in hand, the repair men were called on after every scrum to restore the shredded playing strip that couldn't cope with the two-tonne set pieces on a pitch usually reserved for cricket and AFL.

The Waratahs eventually won 28-17 to retain interstate bragging rights with a 10th straight triumph over the Reds.

But the dire state of the surface completely overshadowed the game.

At one point, four groundsmen were required to repair a series of gaping holes in the ground that will likely leave the Sydney Swans seething ahead of their looming start to the 2019 AFL season.

Queensland coach Brad Thorn was unable to contain his frustration after the flimsy surface sabotaged the powerful Reds pack's hopes of attacking the Waratahs at scrum time.

"It just shut it down, didn't it? It's professional sport ... so that was disappointing," Thorn said.

"Rugby grounds, obviously there's a lot of running around and tackling but there's some things - the mauling and the scrummaging - so the ground's pretty important."

But with the SCG also hosting the NRL first-round clash between the Sydney Roosters and South Sydney next week and the Swans continuing to train at their home base, there are concerns the venue will be in no state for the Waratahs' scheduled meeting with the Crusaders on March 23.

"It's certainly something the powers that be will look at, and how it's rectified for the next game," Gibson said.

"It's such an iconic ground that it's a real thrill to play here."

The Waratahs' victory over the Reds was their second win from three outings this campaign and consigned the Reds to a worrying none-from-three start to their campaign.

The Waratahs head to Canberra next week to play the Brumbies, with the Reds off to Tokyo for a now must-win clash with the Sunwolves.

AAP


AAP




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