Matthews slams slippery Dome - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Matthews slams slippery Dome

By Jim Morton 03/05/2004 06:47:52 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane coach Leigh Matthews blamed the maligned Telstra Dome surface for the Lions early difficulties against St Kilda, saying the AFL triple premiers struggled to stay on their feet.

Matthews admitted the Lions were outplayed by the Saints for the first three quarters of the thrilling one-point loss on Saturday and largely attributed it to his side's inability to "stand up".

The Telstra Dome surface has been criticised heavily in the past but this season has been generally accepted as being less dangerous and not so shifty.

Matthews was not openly critical of the slippery surface but did say his team, in its first game there this season, took a long time to adjust.

"Players fall over all the time but it just seems very treacherous," he said today. "I'm pleased we played there this week given we play there next week (against the Kangaroos).

"We would hopefully be better able to keep the footing and keep the balance next week because we've had the experience of playing on the surface which is a bit shifty on top.

"It's amazing because it looks okay and walks okay but guys fall over for no particular reason."

Matthews said Brisbane's problems, which included a high turnover rate until they kicked five straight goals in the final quarter to fleetingly snatch the lead, were also triggered by the pressure of the young Saints.

"I thought we struggled most of the day," he said. "St Kilda let us off the hook by their conversion rate (13.14). They were clearly the better side for the majority of the night until the last 20 minutes."

The Lions will be without veteran defender Darryl White for Saturday's match against the Kangaroos after he sprained an ankle trying to smother a Fraser Gehrig kick

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