Aussies fuming over slim field - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aussies fuming over slim field

16/10/2004 08:34:59 PM Comments (0)

Australian Rugby League chief executive Geoff Carr will lodge a complaint with the sport's governing body in England after the playing field for Saturday's Tri-Nations opener was 61 metres wide instead of the standard 68m.

Carr and Kangaroos officials were also upset the in-goal areas were shortened to six metres, instead of the regulation 11m marked for NRL matches at North Harbour Stadium as Australia drew 16-16 draw with New Zealand.

It was a ploy from the Kiwis to blunt the effective kicking games of Australian halves Darren Lockyer and Craig Gower and was used last year at the same ground where New Zealand upset its trans-Tasman rivals 30-16.

"I sent an email to them (the RFL) on Thursday about it because over there (in England) you get a lot of grounds that are different sizes but to be honest my concern at that stage was more about the size of the in-goals," said Carr.

"I hadn't really thought if the ground was big enough anyone would want to make it narrower so we need to make it pretty clear that we expect to have an input into any decisions that are made in that area.

"This tournament is being run by three countries so we can't have one of them changing the size of the playing field to suit their team.

"That's not in the spirit of what we are trying to do."

The Tri-Nations is being contested by Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain and the rest of the matches are to be played in England.

Australia play New Zealand at Loftus Road next Saturday before meeting Great Britain the following week in Manchester.

But the size of the field was not the only off-field drama as the Tri-Nations series got off to a heartstopping start a night early for Sydney Roosters coaching director Phil Gould.

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