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Clubs returning to home, sweet, home as Bankwest surface gets replaced

Bankwest Stadium has received the tick of approval to continue hosting matches as the NRL has confirmed all venues for round eight with most clubs returning to their usual home bases.

Despite serious knee injuries to Roosters duo Victor Radley and Sam Verrills at Bankwest last Friday, the stadium has been cleared to host three matches in round eight with the turf being replaced before kick-off on Friday night.

"We had two really unfortunate season-ending injuries there and no one ever wants to see that," NRL head of football Graham Annesley said on Monday.

"The fact they happened so close together did raise questions and the NRL acted quickly. By close of business that night we had organised an independent inspection of the field the next morning.

"That took place and the detailed report we received was an assessment across the field in many different points.

"They took readings for traction, firmness and any other gauge to determine the quality of a professional sporting field.

Bankwest stadium gets new surface

"All of those readings came back to an acceptable range. The RLPA were in attendance for that and they were satisfied."

With games being moved away from Campbelltown Stadium the previous week due to the effects of heavy use on the pitch, Wests Tigers announced a move to Bankwest Stadium for round eight this Saturday night.

Bankwest will also host the Eels taking on the Cowboys on Friday night and the Bulldogs v Rabbitohs game on Sunday night.

Get Caught Up: Round 7

Annesley said Bankwest Stadium had planned to replace the playing surface next week but have brought that process forward.

"They have decided, not for safety reasons, but because they can, they've decided to bring that forward a week," he said.

"They started that process late last night. By the time we get to round eight this week it will effectively be a brand new surface.

"It's not because of any safety concerns, it's because they had a program in place and it was just as easy for them to bring it forward a week than it was to wait.

"I think that that should clear any fears that anyone has but not because we had any concerns about the field. When you look at the field it probably doesn't look as pristine but based on the assessments that took place safety was not a concern.

The Storm will be based on Queensland's Sunshine Coast for at least the next month, having been forced out of Victoria due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

This will allow them to train at Sunshine Coast Stadium – home ground of feeder club the Sunshine Coast Falcons – and base themselves at the Twin Waters Resort.

Their round eight home game against the Roosters on Thursday will be played at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.

Manly have been given permission to return to Lottoland in round eight, having used Central Coast Stadium as a base since round three. They host the Knights at Brookvale on Sunday afternoon.

Every try from round 7

The Raiders have had to travel to Sydney for home games since the round three resumption but have been cleared to return to GIO stadium for home games from round eight.

Friday evening's clash against the Dragons will be the first game in Canberra since round one.

The Titans are back at Cbus Stadium after playing out of Suncorp Stadium in recent weeks - they welcome the Sharks to the Gold Coast on Saturday.

The other round-eight clash will proceed as scheduled, with Warriors on the Central Coast hosting Brisbane on Saturday evening.

Graham Annesley weekly football briefing - Round 7

  • Thursday, 2 July - Storm v Roosters at Suncorp Stadium - 7.50pm
  • Friday, 3 July - Raiders v Dragons at GIO Stadium - 6pm
  • Eels v Cowboys at Bankwest Stadium - 7.55pm
  • Saturday, 4 July - Titans v Sharks at Cbus Super Stadium - 3pm
  • Warriors v Broncos at Central Coast Stadium - 5.30pm
  • Tigers v Panthers at Bankwest Stadium - 7.35pm
  • Sunday, 5 July - Sea Eagles v Knights at Lottoland - 4.05pm
  • Bulldogs v Rabbitohs at Bankwest Stadium - 6.30pm
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