From a certain perspective, it seems as though the entire football world can discuss nothing other than the grass at Sydney Cricket Ground.
The Queensland Reds were described as fuming after their 28 – 17 loss to the Waratahs, but to their credit, they were not using the horrible condition of the ground as an excuse.
Both sides played on the same turf, right?
The Reds have failed to fire the last 10 times they have played NSW, which is interesting in and of itself, particularly when consideration is given to how the Maroons have dominated Origin play. It is hard to conceive of a minor code shift shifting dominance to the NSW side for Super Rugby.
The win was welcome for the Waratahs, as it kept them within site of the unbeaten Rebels, which had a narrow escape with a recent three-point margin over the Brumbies.
The Crusaders are unbeaten in the New Zealand Conference and the Bulls in the South African, but the market for last unbeaten team left standing at this juncture of the competition is one to be avoided.
Back to SCG, the opening of Western Sydney Stadium in about a month will give the Waratahs a nice new field for some games and here’s hoping that they Eels do not tear up the grass.
Barring unforeseen delays, the new venue should be open for play on 22 April. If all goes according to plan, the first game will be Eels v. West Tigers on Easter Monday.
We would like to see historical precedent come into play similar to 1847, when NSW governor Charles FitzRoy permitted a racecourse surrounding the cricket oval.
It was well past time for Parramatta Stadium to be taken down. It was opened in 1985 and the Eels had been petitioning NSW for a new venue since 2012.
The Eels will have 10 home games at the new stadium in 2019. The Waratahs will have the run of the place for four games, while Wests Tigers will play hosts for four games while they wait for the renovations to Sydney Football Stadium and Sydney Olympic Stadium to be completed.