Fitzgibbon out four months - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fitzgibbon out four months

By Steve Connolly 27/06/2003 10:58:25 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters and NSW rugby league forward Craig Fitzgibbon has become the latest victim of the Suncorp Stadium sand as Brisbane finally cracked a win at its new home ground.

Fitzgibbon, who was an almost certain selection for next month's Test against New Zealand, faces three to four months on the sidelines after suffering knee ligament damage early in the first half of what was one of the best games of the National Rugby League season.

He joins Roosters teammate Justin Hodges on the long term casualty list after a Suncorp mishap, with the Queensland centre suffering a season-ending knee injury in the first State of Origin match. Fellow Maroon Paul Bowman also damaged his knee in that game.

Fitzgibbon's injury was another low point for the revamped ground which finally witnessed a Queensland success with the Broncos earning a 10-8 win through a late try to prop Petero Civoniceva.

But Roosters coach Ricky Stuart refused to blame the still sandy surface for the knee injuries to Fitzgibbon and halfback Brett Finch, who suffered cartilage damage.

"I saw the tackle and mate I think it was the way he was tackled, you can't blame the ground for it," Stuart said of the $280 million venue, which staged its third match since reopening on June 1.

"I don't want to go to that extent. You have a look at the stadium, it's a fantastic stadium, you just hope the ground is good to be able to match what you've got outside the arena itself. We need more of these types of stadiums to play our football in."

Fitzgibbon came off in the ninth minute of the game after an innocuous looking tackle from Broncos stand-in five-eighth Casey McGuire.

While Fitzgibbon's season has been ruined, his likely Australian second row partner Gorden Tallis returned to his best for the Broncos after a disappointing effort for Queensland in this week's Origin loss.

Fifteen players, including nine Broncos, backed up from the Blues series clinching win in Sydney on Wednesday night, and all performed magnificently but none more than Tallis.

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