Geelong blames ANZ surface for soreness - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Geelong blames ANZ surface for soreness

By Robert Grant 22/08/2008 06:00:01 PM Comments (0)

Geelong has pointed to the controversial surface at Sydney's ANZ Stadium as the reason they could be forced into late injury withdrawals for Sunday's match against North Melbourne.

Cats coach Mark Thompson, who had demanded the ground be fit for AFL football before the match, would not name the affected players but said one had early signs of osteitis pubis.

"It's not for me to talk about names now but there's three or four boys who have pulled up pretty shabbily from the game last week," Thompson said.

He said the players had been sorer than they would normally have been after playing on a regular league ground.

"Yeah, one guy, might have developed OP (osteitis pubis) out of the game."

However Thompson said he had no plans to register a complaint with the AFL about the surface.

"It's only the initial signs. We're not worried about it at all, it's just what happens in footy and we deal with it.

"All we're saying is that we've got a couple of boys who have to get through fitness tests to play on Sunday.

"Our side's not settled yet, it is Friday and we've got some really sore boys from the way they pulled up from ANZ Stadium last week.

"It may shock a few that there may be a couple out, I've just got to see how they pull up today."

Thompson said the side had had to work overtime to try to regain condition for Sunday's match.

"We've done about 30 per cent more recovery this week than (for) any other game, just from how they pulled up from the match," he said.

Despite the concerns, Geelong will be boosted by the return of star defenders Matthew Scarlett and Darren Milburn and busy midfielder Paul Chapman.

Brent Prismall, Ryan Gamble and Travis Varcoe were the players left out of the 22 on Friday night, although all three were named as emergencies.

North coach Dean Laidley earlier this week described Geelong as a "behemoth" and said it was depressing to think about the premiership side too much, but Thompson believes several sides secretly feel they have the ability to beat the Cats.

"That might be a bit of showmanship," Thompson said of Laidley.

"I think there's some serious clubs out there that think they would like to have another crack at Geelong and they think they can beat us.

"And deep down I think North Melbourne is one of them. I think they have a genuine opinion that on their day they can beat Geelong."

And he admitted the Cats felt vulnerable against any side in the top six, despite having lost just one game this season.

"I think we're clearly better than some sides in the competition but I wouldn't say that about the top six."

But he said the Kangaroos clash was what Geelong needed on the eve of the finals series.

"It's a good game, it's a perfect game that we need going into the finals.

"Last week's game against Sydney was a ripper and this one should be just the same," he said.

"The one thing you do know about the Kangaroos is when they turn up they normally play. It's not very often they don't.

"They've been an amazing club as far as their ability to be very, very competitive year in year out, match by match."

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