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NRL refs confident of avoiding GF howlers

NRL referees boss Daniel Anderson says the standard of officiating has been vastly improved ever since the seventh tackle debacle in Cronulla's elimination win over North Queensland in week one of the finals.
NRL refs confident of avoiding GF howlers
by AAP

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, Oct 1 AAP - NRL referees boss Daniel Anderson says the standard of officiating has been vastly improved ever since the seventh tackle debacle in Cronulla's elimination win over North Queensland in week one of the finals.

Anderson selected Shayne Hayne and Ben Cummins to be the men in the middle for Sunday's grand final between Manly and the Sydney Roosters on Tuesday.

The former Parramatta and Warriors coach opted for the experienced duo after they impressed in the State of Origin decider in July and said he was confident faith had been restored in officials from clubs.

"It was a difficult decision because there has been some very decent footy over the last few weeks, facilitated by some good refereeing," Anderson said.

Hayne has more than 300 NRL games to his name and will take control of his third grand final.

Cummins brings up his double century on Sunday and this will be his second appearance in the biggest club game of the season.

Steve Carrall and Russell Turner will be the touch judges with Ashley Klein and Luke Patten the video referees.

Matt Cecchin and Henry Perenara have not officiated since they allowed seven tackles in the build up to try for the Sharks who went on to beat the Cowboys 20-18.

"I know we've had our blips and that was obviously well publicised," Anderson said.

"But the match officials want to make a contribution by being invisible but relevant and I think they have done that."

Hayne said he felt sympathy for the pair, but said he and Cummins cannot afford to go into the game fearing a mistake could decide the outcome

"If we start to worry about these things you won't be able to do your job right," Hayne said.

"You just rule as normal and give what you see out on the field. We don't think about that sort of stuff.

"You don't think about making mistakes."

Cummins said he and Hayne work well together and was honoured to be awarded such a big game.

"I have worked with Kevvy (Hayne) before and I enjoy working with him and we do a pretty good job," Cummins said.

"We know each other's game pretty well and that's really important."

Hayne was one of the referees in charge of the round 23 clash between Manly and South Sydney that led to Geoff Toovey's infamous rant after his side were denied a try in the 22-10 loss at Gosford.

Toovey was slugged with a $10,000 fine for his comments but Hayne denied the presence of the Sea Eagles coach in the box will heap any extra pressure on his shoulders.

"It won't at all, that happened a good few weeks ago and is gone now," Hayne said.

"We've all moved on and we go into Sunday's game not worried about it at all.

"His actions are just what coaches go through after a loss."


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