Infotainment Factory: Dragons fume after being forced to move trial

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Thursday, 21 February 2019

Dragons fume after being forced to move trial


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St George Illawarra have been forced into a last-minute move of their NRL trial against Newcastle to Wollongong due to poor conditions at Jubilee Oval.

The Dragons were scheduled to host the Knights in Kogarah on Saturday, but a ground inspection prompted the club to relocate the match to their other base.

"This is extremely disappointing and inconvenient for everyone involved," Dragons chief executive Brian Johnston said on Thursday.

"As a club, we believe the condition of the playing surface is not up to the necessary or required standard.

Ben Hunt

"And we are not prepared to risk injury to our players or the Newcastle Knights by playing at Jubilee Oval in its present state.

"I apologise to our members and supporters for any inconvenience caused, but player safety needs to be of the highest priority."

It is the second time in a week an NRL club has been forced to switch grounds.

Manly also felt compelled to move their trial against Cronulla to Southern Cross Group Stadium due to fears over the surface at Lottoland Stadium.

Kalyn Ponga

The decision by the Dragons comes just days after Sydney FC defeated Perth at Jubilee Oval to claim the W-League premiership.

Sydney FC's mens' team has also used the suburban venue for its past six A-League fixtures.

Johnston said the club would continue to monitor the playing surface ahead of their home-opener against South Sydney on March 21.

That fixture comes three weeks after Sydney FC host Korean side Ulsan Hyundai in their first group match in the Asian Champions League.

The Sky Blues also have a match against Chinese club Shanghai SIPG on April 10, four days before the Dragons host Canterbury.

"We have already requested further discussions with council representatives with respect to our opening home game against South Sydney," Johnston said.

St George Illawarra have been forced into a last-minute move of their NRL trial against Newcastle to Wollongong due to poor conditions at Jubilee Oval.

The Dragons were scheduled to host the Knights in Kogarah on Saturday, but a ground inspection prompted the club to relocate the match to their other base.

"This is extremely disappointing and inconvenient for everyone involved," Dragons chief executive Brian Johnston said on Thursday.

"As a club, we believe the condition of the playing surface is not up to the necessary or required standard.

Ben Hunt

"And we are not prepared to risk injury to our players or the Newcastle Knights by playing at Jubilee Oval in its present state.

"I apologise to our members and supporters for any inconvenience caused, but player safety needs to be of the highest priority."

It is the second time in a week an NRL club has been forced to switch grounds.

Manly also felt compelled to move their trial against Cronulla to Southern Cross Group Stadium due to fears over the surface at Lottoland Stadium.

Kalyn Ponga

The decision by the Dragons comes just days after Sydney FC defeated Perth at Jubilee Oval to claim the W-League premiership.

Sydney FC's mens' team has also used the suburban venue for its past six A-League fixtures.

Johnston said the club would continue to monitor the playing surface ahead of their home-opener against South Sydney on March 21.

That fixture comes three weeks after Sydney FC host Korean side Ulsan Hyundai in their first group match in the Asian Champions League.

The Sky Blues also have a match against Chinese club Shanghai SIPG on April 10, four days before the Dragons host Canterbury.

"We have already requested further discussions with council representatives with respect to our opening home game against South Sydney," Johnston said.

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