Pie star blames Etihad surface for crash

Etihad Stadium’s contentious artificial boundary surface has come under fire again, this time from young Collingwood star Darcy Moore.

The Pies spearhead believes it was a contributing factor in his big collision with the fence during last week’s clash against the Western Bulldogs.

Moore was left bleeding from a gash in the right side of his face after he was sent sprawling into the electronic advertising on the fence following a marking contest with Bulldogs defender Joel Hamling in the second quarter.

The synthetic grass that rings the playing surface was criticised by Geelong’s Dan Menzel earlier this season, the Cats forward of the belief it caused an ankle injury he suffered against North Melbourne in round 12.

Last year, Brisbane’s Michael Close ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament after slipping on the surface.

“My knees just hit the ground and obviously the turf at Etihad’s a bit of a talking point so that was pretty hard,” Moore told Fox Footy’s AFL Tonight on Thursday.

“It sort of propelled me up and into the fence before I could get my hands up in front of my face to protect myself.

“I think if you actually watch the footage it’s the landing on the turf (that’s an issue) because it’s so hard it does propel me forward and up faster than I think I budgeted for, obviously.”

Moore played out the game, but said the most severe symptoms – a sore neck and headache – didn’t come on until about 48 hours after the hit.

The synthetic turf is AFL-approved and has successfully undergone testing in the past, but Moore urged the league and stadium management to review the matter.

“I think there’s been a few incidents now and as players we play hard and we play on the edge so we want to make sure we don’t do serious damage like I nearly did,” he said.

“I’m not sure how many incidents happen but as a player you’d like to think that the league and everyone is doing everything that they can to make it a safe environment in terms of those physical parts of the game, whether it be close to the bench or close to the fence or wherever.”

Etihad Stadium management were contacted for a response but declined to comment.

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