NRL to inspect Brookvale pitch

The state of Lottoland's pitch is again being questioned after the Roosters-Manly NRL match.
The state of Lottoland's pitch is again being questioned after the Roosters-Manly NRL match.

The NRL is seeking an urgent inspection of Lottoland after Brett Morris' knee injury brought the troubled surface into the spotlight once again.

Manly CEO Lyall Gorman denied there was an issue with the ground despite Sydney Roosters winger Morris suffering a suspected MCL injury in Saturday's 26-18 win over the Sea Eagles, blaming the incident on the torrential rain which hit the ground during the first-half.

Morris will undergo scans, with the club saying his prognosis wouldn't be known until Monday.

If the initial diagnosis is proven correct, he will be the sixth player to suffer a serious knee injury at the ground in less than three seasons.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson urged the NRL to introduce an AFL-style ground rating system.

And NRL head of football Graham Annesley said the governing body would meet with the Sea Eagles and Northern Beaches Council, who operate the ground, to ensure it is up to standard.

"We will talk to the club and to the local council and schedule an inspection of the surface as soon as possible," Annesley said.

"Clearly there could be numerous contributing factors including the weather conditions but player welfare will be a major consideration for any course of action."

Morris was taken from the field just before halftime after his left knee dug into the surface, sending a divot of dirt flying out of the ground.

In 2015, Morris jarred his knee at the same ground after he claiming his foot sunk into a 10cm pothole.

Last year Manly's Curtis Sironen, Kelepi Tanginoa and Lachlan Croker suffered ACL tears at the ground and in 2017 Sea Eagles winger Jorge Taufua and Canberra's Dunamis Lui suffered ACL injuries in the same round 13 match.

Last month Manly's pre-season trial had to be moved to Shark Park because of concerns about the state of the ground.

The Sea Eagles travel to New Zealand next week but return to Lottoland on April 6 to take on the Rabbitohs.

Gorman said he had no concern about the ground, saying he was refusing to entertain the prospect of moving games.

He said Morris' injury was a result of the torrential rain which hit the ground in the first-half and caused it to soften.

"When you have an inch and a half of rain they get dug up a bit," Gorman said.

"We work hard with the council to make sure the venue is up to a quality standard."

Australian Associated Press