Would the Matildas have won had they played on real turf?

Graham Heys Roar Rookie

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    The dream is over for the Matildas, but what a great tournament they had. One thing of note was the fact they played their game against Japan on a synthetic pitch, in temperatures reaching 40 degrees.

    While both sides were dealing with the heat, reports came from Edmonton that many of the girls had problems with the synthetic pitch, or at least the heat generated by it being transferred through the sole of their boots.

    Many returned from training with icepacks on their feet and legs, as they experienced what falling onto a synthetic carpet can do to you.

    The introduction of synthetic turf to our game is a practical one, allowing play during all types of weather conditions, but it comes with frailties. I suspect injuries have increased playing on this surface, particularly when factoring in burns from your flesh meeting the ‘turf’ at speed.

    Football was not designed to be played on artificial turf and the authorities should get rid of them. You won’t find a creditable league across the world playing their competition on the surface, yet FIFA sanctioned its use at the Women’s World Cup in Canada.

    Two English League sides in the late 80s introduced a synthetic pitch and played home games on it. The FA were quick to abolish that caper and made the sides dig it up and revert to grass. With the improvements in turf technology, most teams in most leagues play on what I would call carpets compared to the days when I played, so there’s no reason to change the game as we know it by playing on synthetic turf.

    Apart from the obvious danger to players there’s the way the ball performs – its bounce and speed across the turf. Then there’s the fact that attempting to cross a ball and getting your foot under the ball on that surface can be difficult. I see players in the A-League constantly unable to beat the first man from corners or set pieces, perhaps they’ve been training on synthetic pitches?

    Turf is also unpredictable on the body. Defenders can apply a slide tackles on grass knowing there’s no danger of your dermis being ripped off your leg. When you stop abruptly on turf there’s give in the ground, which cushions the action and helps with less stress on ankles and limbs. If you fall on synthetic turf there’s plastic and underneath that a bloody great concrete slab, which doesn’t give at all.

    As for the Matildas, we’ll never know what could have happened if they had met the Japanese on a real park instead of a plastic one.

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    The Crowd Says (19)

    • July 6th 2015 @ 4:02am
      MyKey321 said | July 6th 2015 @ 4:02am | ! Report

      Conditions were the same for both teams. Neither had any advantage because of the turf. Face it, we lost. It is as simple as that!

    • July 6th 2015 @ 5:07am
      Nick said | July 6th 2015 @ 5:07am | ! Report

      Why on earth would that have made a difference? Do Japan have masses of experience playing on fake turf?

    • July 6th 2015 @ 6:01am
      SM said | July 6th 2015 @ 6:01am | ! Report

      And here was me thinking it was the same for both teams.

      What wasn’t the same was the two days extra rest we had in the lead up. How on earth does one team get such an advantage at a major international tournament? The Japanese would have been rightfully filthy at that had they lost.

    • July 6th 2015 @ 8:36am
      Batou said | July 6th 2015 @ 8:36am | ! Report

      Should they be playing on synthetic pitches?: no
      Would we have won on grass?: also no. Unfortunately Japan were way too good for us. We tired more, despite two days extra rest, because they ran us all over the pitch all game.

    • July 6th 2015 @ 8:56am
      AZ_RBB said | July 6th 2015 @ 8:56am | ! Report

      Do we have a live blog for the final?

      • July 6th 2015 @ 9:24am
        The artist formerly known as Punter said | July 6th 2015 @ 9:24am | ! Report

        USA 4 nil up after a crazy 15 minutes.

        • July 6th 2015 @ 9:26am
          AZ_RBB said | July 6th 2015 @ 9:26am | ! Report

          Brazil v Germany all over again haha

          • July 6th 2015 @ 11:31am
            Batou said | July 6th 2015 @ 11:31am | ! Report

            Very disappointed for Japan. I missed it as I was at work but it sounds like they did have a Brazil style implosion that ended the game before they knew what hit them. It sounds like they pulled it together to some extent later on but to come back from 4-0 down is almost impossible. Did anyone get to see the game?

            • July 6th 2015 @ 7:12pm
              Simoc said | July 6th 2015 @ 7:12pm | ! Report

              I did. It went Bang, bang, pause, bang, bang. Everything was hitting the back of the net. Most unusual. USA had a plan that delivered very quickly .

    • July 6th 2015 @ 9:06am
      Brendon Vella said | July 6th 2015 @ 9:06am | ! Report

      Ultimately if its the same for both sides there is nothing we can really moan about.

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