MANLY officials fear elite players could sustain serious long-term injuries playing at Brookvale Oval after three sprinkler heads dangerously came through the ground surface before last weekend's match against South Sydney.
Warringah Council ground staff attempted to cover the sprinkler heads with sand before kick-off but players still felt endangered running near the sprinklers.
Photographs of the sprinkler heads presented a disturbing sight.
The Daily Telegraph has obtained a letter Sea Eagles official Peter Peters wrote to council property and commercial development manager Matthew Viney yesterday, demanding an immediate explanation.
Peters wrote: "The Manly Sea Eagles are embarrassed at the continued poor playing surface being presented for matches in the prestigious NRL competition.
"On Saturday night [June 19] Fox Sports highlighted the fact that three sprinkler heads, oozing water, were exposed on the playing field representing massive health and occupational issues for players. The sprinkler heads were covered in sand which immediately turned to mud.
"The NRL ground manager for the match highlighted the issue in his match report. Some players felt the situation could have been dangerous.
"It is simply not good enough and is a continuation of the poor state of the ground for matches so far in the 2010 season. We are seeking assurances that the problem with the sprinkler heads will be rectified."
NRL chief operating officer Graham Annesley has called on Warringah Council to fix the problem.
"We are aware of the issue and we support the Sea Eagles' representation to the council," Annesley said. "We all have Occupational Health and Safety responsibilities and we are hopeful council will address the matter before the next home game."
The Brookvale playing surface has now become the worst of any ground in the NRL.
Warringah Council general manager Rik Hart yesterday explainedwhy the sprinkler heads had come through the surface.
"There was a leaking valve in our irrigation system over the weekend. This created four soft patches on the field around the sprinklers," he said.
"Warringah staff worked on the areas between matches and put sand on the affected areas to avoid the sodden soil exposing the sprinkler heads. The situation will be fixed well before the next home game."