Going nowhere: Waratahs sticking with Allianz
A SUPER Rugby game will still be played at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night despite efforts being made to move it for the sake of the surface for Sunday's A-League grand final.
There were reports on Tuesday that North Sydney Oval was being scoped as an alternate venue for the NSW Waratahs' clash with the Auckland Blues but after exploring the option, it was deemed logistically impossible to pull off in this time frame.
Allianz Stadium hosted Sydney FC's win over Perth Glory on Saturday after a rugby league clash had been played the night before, and the surface was clearly poor as a result.
"We appreciate the efforts of Venues NSW, the Minister and the Waratahs to explore the option of moving Saturday night's rugby match," said FFA CEO David Gallop.
"These things are always more complicated than perhaps first envisaged.
"The fact is our grand final deserves a world-class surface and the traffic on Allianz Stadium makes this a challenge.
"The standard of the pitch last Saturday night had a noticeably detrimental effect on the play."
In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, the Waratahs confirmed: "While consideration was given to the request made by NSW Government late on Monday, out of interest for the NSW Waratahs fans and supporters as well as other stakeholders, the game will remain at the Tahs' home ground, Allianz Stadium".
Meanwhile, A-League chief Greg O'Rourke admitted Allianz is currently the worst of all the regular surfaces in the competition.
"Excluding some alternate venues played in by some of the clubs that were forced to move because the ground was taken up by concerts or other codes, it's clearly the worst pitch at the moment," O'Rourke said.
"Suncorp or Etihad would have been better pitch alternatives but that's not the way our game plays out."