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Growing Grass in Sydney Apparently Challenges Turf Experts

Grass is a fickle plant. It refuses to grow where we want it to grow. No amount of TLC, water and fertilizer seems sufficient. We do not have to yell at the neighbourhood kids to get off our lawns, because they have no interest being on them if the first place, and in the second, calling those lawns seems to be wishful thinking.

Try to prevent grass from growing where we do not want it to grow, however, is a futile cause lost. Cracks in the pavement and rose gardens make it possible to think that grass was created just for those spots. Chemical defoliants and mechanical removal only seem to supply motivation.

All of that makes it easy for us to commiserate with groundskeepers in Sydney, who have been under the pump for the negative headlines concerning the condition of the pitches, where adjectives such as unacceptable, dangerous and deplorable are constantly invoked to describe Sydney turf.

There seems to be adequate moisture, judging by the Soft 7 rating given Royal Randwick weekend past for day one of The Championships.

Is it too much water?

That is hard to envisage.

The latest victim was Melbourne Victory midfielder Terry Antonis, who caught the edge of the SCG square and required a stretcher to leave the pitch.

The pitch around the borders of the square after the match was described as patchy, devoid of grass and dangerously soft, to the extent that it should not have been in use for professional football.

The SCG Trust seems to have taken a head-in-the-mud approach, with a spokesperson claiming, “The field had been inspected by independent experts in the past two weeks, with satisfactory results recorded for all codes.”

SCG is not the only facility with questionable playing surfaces.

Brookvale Oval has seen games moved, including a NRL trial and an A-League match. The pitch at Kogarah was declared unfit for a W-League match between the Matildas and New Zealand.