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NRL blunder refs stood down

The NRL's head of football Todd Greenberg says Matt Cecchin and Henry Perenara almost certainly won't referee for the remainder of the finals series following Saturday's seventh tackle howler.
NRL blunder refs stood down
by AAP

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, Sept 16 AAP - The NRL's head of football Todd Greenberg says Matt Cecchin and Henry Perenara almost certainly won't referee for the remainder of the finals series following Saturday's seventh tackle howler.

Cecchin and Perenara have not been selected for this weekend's two finals games between the Sharks and Manly on Friday and Melbourne and Newcastle 24 hours later.

The pair were castigated by furious North Queensland players and officials following the Cowboys' 20-18 loss to Cronulla - who scored a decisive try on seventh tackle through Beau Ryan.

Video referees from the game, Matt Rodwell and Jason Robinson, have also been given the weekend off and Greenberg said steps have been taken to ensure similar blunders don't occur again.

The review, conducted by referees' boss Daniel Anderson and Greenberg concluded that on-field referees must always vocalise each tackle so players and the match officials squad are aware of the count at all times.

Additional responsibilities have also been given to the head video referee in relation to the tackle count.

"The referees accept there are consequences for actions and that's likely to cost them significantly in the finals series ahead when Daniel confirms his appointments, Greenberg said.

"We do need to keep a sense of perspective. At our end we need to ensure that everything can be done to prevent human error.

"We also need to accept that in a game as intense and as fast paced as rugby league that you will never eradicate all mistakes either on the part of the players or the officials.

"We will be doing everything we can to ensure this does not happen again."

Greenberg has also reviewed the failure of the stadium clock at Allianz Stadium during the Cowboys-Sharks game and also the security breaches after the game.

Confusion reigned when the scoreboard showed there were 41 seconds remaining as the Cowboys played out their final set after referees called time on when the scrum was set. The Cowboys' anger at losing the game was compounded when they were confronted by jeering Sharks fans as they walked back to the SCG change rooms.

With the main sheds at the stadium unavailable due to the NRL staging a double header between Sydney Roosters and Manly - the players had to walk to the neighbouring ground with no security to escort them.

"Arrangements had been in place with the stadium to prevent this and we are bitterly disappointed that they did not proceed as planned," Greenberg said.

"The security and safety of the players is of paramount importance and we have expressed our dissatisfaction with stadium officials to ensure what happened on Saturday is not repeated.

"It's important to note the clock on the scoreboard is a display clock and the official match clock with the time-keeper operated without error.

"We understand the concerns of the players and fans at the time given the excitement in the final moments of the game but the match was played to the correct time."

As a result of the confusion Greenberg has also ordered a complete review of all current procedures match officials utilise and of the time-keeping facilities at stadiums.

"In an ideal world the broadcasters, stadium and the time-keeper would all be working off the one feed and that's certainly something we'd like to pursue," he said.




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