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NRL doubles down with controversial refereeing appointment for Origin 2

How do we fix NRL refereeing? (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
19th June, 2018
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The referees for Game 2 of the 2018 State of Origin series have been announced, with Gerard Sutton and Ashley Klein confirmed to retain their spot in the middle.

The announcement comes on the back of a horror weekend for Klein, who was in the bunker for the game featuring the Wests Tigers and Canberra Raiders at Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday afternoon. A try to Shannon Boyd was sent to the bunker, with the green lights expected to be shown, except that Klein overruled the decision to give it a no try, based on the fact he didn’t think the ball had reached the ground.

While Klein’s effort in the bunker on Sunday was questionable, as was his original selection for the series over referees like Matt Cecchin and Ben Cummins, Origin 1 was refereed differently to the rest of the NRL season.

There were just five penalties blown across the course of the contest. Given the officiating crackdown on issues such as offside and ruck infringements this season, the count came as a surprise but saw a free, fast-flowing game between the Blues and Maroons.

Senior manager of NRL officiating Bernard Sutton said it was important to be consistent.

“Both referees officiated very well in the opening State of Origin game and it is certainly beneficial to maintain some consistency through the course of the series,” Sutton said.

Full list of match officials for State of Origin Game 2

Referee: Gerard Sutton
Assist Referee: Ashley Klein
Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy
Review Official: Ben Galea
Touch Judges: Nick Beashel, Brett Suttor
Standby Referee: Ben Cummins
Standby Touch Judge: Chris Butler

The game, which is set to be played at ANZ Stadium this Sunday, June 24, is the first standalone Origin to be played in decades, with the Maroons needing a win to keep the series alive and avoid a dead rubber back at home for Game 3.


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