Captain defies CRL with Field choice

BROTHERS captain-coach Craig Field will defy a Country Rugby League directive and play Sunday’s Group Nine blockbuster against Junee at Wagga Cricket Ground (WCG).Amid safety concerns raised about the ground, Field said yesterday he had no intention of moving the critical game away from the venue.“I’ve just been down and had a look and I can’t see anything a bit of sand won’t fix,” Field said yesterday.“As head coach of Brothers football club I am saying we will be playing there (WCG).“The (Wagga City) council allocated us the ground and that’s where we’ll be playing.“I’ve rung (club president) Brian Orr to tell him that’s what we’re doing.”Field’s stance came at the end of a remarkable drama in which the venue for Sunday’s game was changed three times.It also followed the decision earlier in the week to prohibit Brothers from playing Junee at Wagga Rugby League’s new ground at Equex Centre.The ban was imposed after it was discovered a major dressage event was scheduled for a nearby facility and there were safety fears for riders.Concerns centred on the noise of the football crowd and referees’ whistles upsetting the horses and possibly causing riders to fall.Forced off Equex Centre, the Brethren were shunted to WCG, but it was subsequently also deemed unsafe yesterday because of a slightly raised playing surface around the cricket pitch area.In a bid to settle the confusion, CRL Southern Region Area manager Dave Skinner ruled the game would be played at Staunton Park, subject to a ground inspection on Saturday afternoon“Due to the lack of safe available sporting facilities in Wagga for this coming weekend the game between Brothers and Junee has been tentatively allocated to ground eight, Allen Staunton Oval,” Skinner told the clubs.“An inspection of the playing surface has been conducted and while it is acceptable to play at this point in time, the marginal condition of the ground could change following the junior round of semi-finals on Saturday.”Skinner also ordered the game would have to be switched to either Nixon Park at Temora or Willow Park at Junee if Staunton Park was ruled unsafe.Field, however, elected to take Skinner out of the equation and put himself at odds with CRL.“It’s our home game,” Field said.“We’ll play it at the Cricket Ground.”

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