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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Ruthven

Questions to be asked about Gabba surface: Sumich

Former Eagles player Peter Sumich says questions have got to be asked about the Gabba's surface following two confirmed ACL injuries in Friday's Brisbane-Carlton clash.

Both sides were struck by knee injuries - losing veteran Blue Sam Docherty and Lions defender Keidean Coleman for the second half. Scans confirmed the worst for the duo on Saturday, with Docherty sustaining his third ACL injury in his career. 

Speaking on Sports Breakfast, Sumich expressed his concerns regarding the Gabba’s readiness for the AFL season

“The Gabba is renowned for cricket, and the ground, the surface on the outside, through the summer, has really hardened up a little bit and it's not that lush, winter-type grass,” he said. 

“Has it started too early, that's the other question. Two knees - was the Gabba too hard? Those things have got to be questions that have got to be asked.  

“Obviously, the Gabba loosens up as the season goes on, but we're still in cricket season, and then suddenly we get two knees on a hard ground.”

Carlton returned to the Gabba, where they lost last year’s preliminary final by 16 points, to stage an epic 46-point comeback in the second half. 

This comeback halted Brisbane’s stellar record at the Gabba, breaking its 14-game winning streak at home. The Blues also ended their run of 11-straight losses at Brisbane’s home ground. 

Sumich named Carlton as his team of the weekend and said it can be used as motivation going forward. 

Let's not underestimate that performance,” he said. 

“With the players they had out and an injury to Docherty, for them to get up and win that game, forty-odd points behind, you can draw on that game all year now. 

“He can bring up that game to find something for his team throughout the year with that result. So for me, that was the pick of the bunch.”

Brisbane came out of the gates firing, and it looked done and dusted for Carlton who was down by 46 points. 

Within a matter of minutes, Carlton came out on top and chipped away at the margin, with Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow combining for seven goals, playing an instrumental role in the forward 50. 

Midfielders George Hewett, Patrick Cripps and Adam Cerra were also crucial in overcoming the deficit to secure victory at the Gabba. 

Sumich says while Carlton had an amazing comeback, there are some concerns regarding Brisbane. 

“You still look at their first half and they put Carlton to the sword so still lots to like about Brisbane,” he said.  

“My concern is them with allowing that to happen and where were the leaders on the ground so that's probably the first question. 

“Whether the leaders stood up or they didn't and try and stop the game and just slow it right down and that's something I think Fagan's got to hit up is more about the leaders on the ground and what was going on.”



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