Canberra coach Paul Goriss has lashed out after Friday night’s 88-84 loss to the Perth Lynx, describing the game as rugby and slamming the referees.
Perth fought back from a 15-point deficit and the game turned late in the first half when Capitals star Kelsey Griffin left the court with blood gushing from her head. Griffin and Asia Taylor were engaged in a rebounding contest at the time and the referees called the foul against Griffin despite the wound needing stitches.
Perth trailed by 10 points when the incident occurred but surged to lead by two points at half-time.
There were multiple collisions and head knocks throughout the match. Bodies were regularly strewn across the court, Taylor received two significant blows to the face and Kia Nurse was clearly rattled after a bone jarring contest with Kayla Steindl.
Goriss said the referees’ inconsistency impacted on the result and demanded the WNBL step in.
“It’s not rugby that we play over here,” Goriss said.
“I thought we were here for a basketball game. That’s brutal when someone has blood bleeding from their head from an errant elbow and it’s not stopped.
“It happened last time and it continues to happen. No-one does anything about it.
“To me it’s up to the league to step in and do something about it. I’ve had my say several times. It falls on deaf ears. People continue to get away with how they play.
“It’s going to take someone to be severely injured for something to happen, otherwise someone has to step up and take some responsibility.”
Griffin dominated the earlier clash this season with 30 points and 18 rebounds. She returned to the court with heavy strapping and finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Lynx coach Andy Stewart said he was always confident his team could win, despite the deficit. Perth shot at only 26 per cent in the first quarter compared to Canberra’s 60 per cent and the Capitals led the rebounding 16-5.
By the end of the game, the rebounds were level, Perth shot at 44 per cent and Canberra’s accuracy fell to 43 per cent.
Perth’s Asia Taylor helped to turn the game with 21 points and nine rebounds. Alison Schwagmeyer top scored with 22 points while Kayla Steindl (12) and Brittany McPhee lifted at key times.
Leilani Mitchell (16), Kia Nurse (17) and Lauren Scherf (14) were key players for Canberra.
Lynx coach Andy Stewart said he had no problem with how the game was played and accidents occur in sport.
“It takes two to make a collision,” he said.
“If we’re playing hard and they’re playing hard, there’s going to be some clashes. They played us hard last time. They played us hard this time.
“They’ve got some very physical players that love to post-up, love to drive to the hoop hard. There’s going to be clashes.
“It’s a fully professional sport and these girls are giving it their all. There is going to be people running into people.”