Furious Adelaide Crows coach Brenton Sanderson has claimed lunchtime starts in Queensland are putting the health of players at risk.
Brenton Sanderson has called for the end of sunscreen footy in Queensland after his Crows overcame the Brisbane heat to produce their best AFL win of the year.
Although immensely proud of Adelaide’s efforts in their 105-point victory over the Lions, Sanderson was highly critical of the AFL’s scheduling of the 1.10pm match at the Gabba.
“Playing a game here in the middle of August, in the middle of the day, is just baffling,” Sanderson said.
“I think if you’re going to schedule games up here at this time of year, you’ve got to put them at night, otherwise you’re going to put players health and safety at risk.”
Gold Coast have also hosted lunchtime games at the start of this season in questionable pieces of scheduling.
With the temperature hitting 24.6 degrees in Brisbane on Sunday, Sanderson made an unsuccessful pre-match request for a lift on the cap of 120 interchanges.
His concerns were only heightened when the Crows lost both Tom Lynch (neck) and Andy Otten (knee) to serious injuries in the second quarter.
Fears of being run down quickly subsided as Adelaide piled on 13 second-half goals.
But the coach remains worried about the affect it will have on his side heading into a crucial home clash with Richmond on Saturday.
“For the AFL to constantly preach player safety with the rules, you can’t have a game in these conditions with a reduced interchange cap, as you saw today,” he said.
“I mean our players, every player is cramping, every player is absolutely spent, and you want us to turn up in six days and take on Richmond in a blockbuster game?
“We’ll do everything we possibly can, and I’ve told our players not to listen to me in the media today, because we can win next week, but it’s a challenge for us.”
Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch pointed to the fact the Lions train in similar conditions all season, however they gained no advantage in the record Gabba defeat.
“It looked like the opposite,” he said. “It looked like they were the ones who train in the heat all the time, not us.”