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Harrigan, Raper axed for Origin denials

Date

Brad Walter, Adrian Proszenko

In the past ... Stuart Raper and Bill Harrigan are appointed in 2010.

In the past ... Stuart Raper and Bill Harrigan are appointed in 2010. Photo: Janie Barrett

BILL HARRIGAN and Stuart Raper's refusal to concede match officials got controversial decisions wrong in State of Origin led to the sacking of the referees bosses yesterday.

A review of refereeing this season resulted in Harrigan and Raper being replaced by a single referees boss next season and the Herald was told the controversial Greg Inglis try in Origin I and Justin Hodges try in the series decider had played a part in their downfall.

NSW officials believe the decisions cost the Blues their first Origin series victory since 2005.

''If they had just come out and said it was a shepherd by Justin Hodges and the try shouldn't have been awarded, the game would have avoided all the confusion over obstructions at the end of the season,'' one official said.

Harrigan backed video referee Steve Clark's call that Beau Scott had not been obstructed by Hodges running behind Ben Hannant in the lead up to the try.

Harrigan also defended the decision by video referee Sean Hampstead to award a match-sealing try to Inglis in Origin I after he planted the ball on Robbie Farah's foot and appeared to lose control of it.

At the time, NSW trailed 12-10 and the try extended the Maroons lead to 18-10, while the Blues were beaten 21-20 in Origin III.

The controversies led to a mid-season review of refereeing but it was announced on June 7 that Harrigan and Raper would remain in charge of referees.

However, NRL football operations general manager Nathan McGuirk announced yesterday that Harrigan and Raper had been axed as part of a leadership restructure for refereeing.

Harrigan, who has been employed in an off-field capacity since the formation of the NRL in 1998, said: ''It's time for me to move on''.

Raper said in a text that he had no comment, ''only that I am disappointed with their decision''.

It is understood Raper and Harrigan only learnt their fate yesterday afternoon, with the ARL Commission making the news official via a press release shortly after the Herald broke the story on Twitter.

The decision brings an abrupt end to Harrigan's 35-year career in refereeing, which began in 1977 and resulted in him leaving the police in 1995 to pursue a full-time career with the whistle.

After setting several records during his 392 games in the middle, he moved into coaching. ''I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a referee on the field, I enjoyed my years as an assistant coach and the last two years as the coach of the referees,'' Harrigan said.

''I wish all the referees the best for season 2013 and it's time for me to move onto a new stage of life. What that is at the moment, I don't know.''

Former Test whistleblower Russell Smith, who was an assistant referees coach to Harrigan and Raper, was appointed interim manager of the referees department and will assist McGuirk in finalising the make-up of the 2013 squad.

Smith is expected to come under consideration for the new role of referees elite performance manager, along with Clark, who is currently in charge of the lower grade referees.

It is unclear whether Clark's role in awarding a try during the finals to Manly winger Michael Oldfield, after teammate Kieran Foran had knocked the ball on, would count against him after he was dumped as video referee for the decision.

Grand final referee Tony Archer may be also be a candidate, while there would be support for veteran coaches Brian Smith and Tim Sheens following their axing by Sydney Roosters and Wests Tigers.

''Bill and Stuart have been part of a dual-coaching structure and it is time to move to a new model,'' McGuirk said.

''Nobody could criticise their commitment but, as we have reviewed the year from a number of perspectives, it has become clear that we need one person to manage what is a high performance team.

''Bill and Stuart have increased the depth of talent in the squad and that has been one of the real positives over the last two years. I certainly wish to thank them for the contribution they have made.''

Commission interim chief executive Shane Mattiske thanked Raper and Harrigan.

''Bill has made an incredible contribution to refereeing in a career that will forever stand out in the game's record books,'' Mattiske said.

''He and Stuart have worked incredibly hard over the last two years in particular, and there is a strong sense of gratitude on our part for their efforts, but we also believe that a new structure is needed.''

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Round 1
Thu, 03 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR vs BRI 20:05Pirtek
Fri, 04 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs CBY 20:05BO
Sat, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBR vs PEN 15:00GIO
WST vs NZW 17:30CSS
NQL vs CRO 19:301300
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SYD vs SOU 16:00AS
GCT vs NEW 18:30Cbus
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MEL vs STG 19:00AAMI
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PEN vs CBY 20:05Pepp
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CBR vs SYD 15:00GIO
SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
PAR vs NQL 19:30Pirtek
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CRO vs STG 16:00Shark Park
MEL vs GCT 18:30AAMI
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WST vs MAN 19:00VAS
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Thu, 17 MarTimes shown AEDT
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NEW vs CBR 17:30HS
PEN vs BRI 19:30Pepp
GCT vs WST 21:30Cbus
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NZW vs MEL 14:00MSS
STG vs SOU 16:00SCG
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MAN vs CRO 19:00BO
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Round 4
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CBR vs GCT 17:30GIO
SYD vs MAN 19:30AS
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STG vs PEN 16:00WIN
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WST vs PAR 16:00ANZ
CRO vs MEL 19:00Shark Park
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Round 5
Thu, 31 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs SOU 20:05BO
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GCT vs BRI 20:05Cbus
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MEL vs NEW 15:00AAMI
WST vs CRO 17:30CSS
NQL vs STG 19:301300
Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD vs NZW 14:00AS
PAR vs PEN 16:00Pirtek
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CBY vs CBR 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
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Round 6
Thu, 07 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STG 19:50SUN
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SOU vs SYD 19:50ANZ
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PAR vs CBR 15:00Pirtek
NZW vs MAN 17:30MSS
PEN vs NQL 19:30Pepp
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NEW vs WST 16:00HS
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Round 7
Thu, 14 AprTimes shown AEST
MAN vs PAR 19:50BO
Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
NQL vs SOU 19:501300
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BRI vs NEW 19:30SUN
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Round 8
Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SOU 19:50SUN
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CBY vs GCT 15:00ANZ
CBR vs WST 17:30GIO
NQL vs PAR 19:301300
Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
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NEW vs MAN 14:00HS
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Round 9
Thu, 28 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU vs WST 19:50ANZ
PAR vs CBY 19:50ANZ
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PEN vs CBR 15:00Carrington Park
SYD vs NEW 17:30CCS
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Round 10
Thu, 12 MayTimes shown AEST
STG vs CBR 19:50Jubilee Oval
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MEL vs NQL 17:30SUN
MAN vs BRI 19:30SUN
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Round 11
Thu, 19 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU vs STG 19:50ANZ
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NQL vs BRI 19:501300
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WST vs NEW 15:00CSS
NZW vs CBR 17:30Yarrow Stadium
CRO vs MAN 19:30Shark Park
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PEN vs GCT 14:00Pepp
CBY vs SYD 16:00ANZ
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PAR vs MEL 19:00Pirtek
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Round 12
Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs WST 19:50SUN
Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CBY 16:00GIO
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NEW vs PAR 19:00HS
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Round 13
Fri, 03 JunTimes shown AEST
CBR vs MAN 19:50GIO
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NZW vs BRI 15:00MSS
NQL vs NEW 17:301300
MEL vs PEN 19:30AAMI
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SYD vs WST 16:00AS
SOU vs GCT 18:30nib Stadium
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CBY vs CRO 19:00ANZ
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Round 14
Thu, 09 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBR 19:50SUN
Fri, 10 JunTimes shown AEST
WST vs SOU 19:50ANZ
Sat, 11 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs NZW 15:00HS
PAR vs GCT 17:30TIO
SYD vs MEL 19:30AS
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STG vs CBY 16:00ANZ
CRO vs NQL 19:00Shark Park
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Fri, 17 JunTimes shown AEST
SOU vs PAR 19:50ANZ
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STG vs MEL 19:30WIN
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Round 16
Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SOU 19:50Pepp
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NEW vs STG 15:00HS
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CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
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MEL vs WST 16:00AAMI
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Round 17
Thu, 30 JunTimes shown AEST
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Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MEL 19:50SUN
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WST vs PEN 17:30ANZ
CRO vs PAR 19:30Shark Park
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SOU vs NQL 16:00Barlow Park
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MAN vs STG 19:00BO
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Round 18
Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR vs SYD 19:50Pirtek
Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
CBY vs WST 19:30ANZ
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PEN vs CRO 16:00Pepp
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CBR vs NQL 19:00GIO
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Round 19
Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
STG vs GCT 19:50Jubilee Oval
Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs NZW 17:30nib Stadium
SOU vs BRI 19:30ANZ
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NEW vs MEL 14:00HS
PEN vs PAR 16:00Pepp
Mon, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CRO 19:00AS
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Round 20
Thu, 21 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs CBY 19:501300
Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs PEN 19:50SUN
Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NZW 15:00GIO
GCT vs PAR 17:30Cbus
MEL vs SYD 19:30AAMI
Sun, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CRO vs NEW 14:00Shark Park
STG vs WST 16:00ANZ
Mon, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
SOU vs MAN 19:00ANZ
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Round 21
Wed, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs PEN 22:00MSS
Thu, 28 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
CBY vs STG 00:00ANZ
GCT vs CRO 00:00Cbus
PAR vs WST 00:00ANZ
SOU vs CBR 00:00ANZ
MAN vs NEW 00:00BO
NQL vs MEL 00:001300
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Round 22
Thu, 04 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs BRI 00:00WIN
PAR vs MAN 00:00Pirtek
CRO vs CBR 00:00Shark Park
NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
MEL vs SOU 00:00AAMI
GCT vs NZW 00:00Cbus
WST vs NQL 00:00VAS
PEN vs SYD 00:00Pepp
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Round 23
Wed, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SOU 22:00MSS
Thu, 11 AugTimes shown AEST
CBY vs MAN 00:00ANZ
BRI vs PAR 00:00SUN
WST vs GCT 00:00CSS
STG vs CRO 00:00Jubilee Oval
NEW vs PEN 00:00HS
SYD vs NQL 00:00AS
CBR vs MEL 00:00GIO
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Round 24
Thu, 18 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
SYD vs STG 00:00AS
NEW vs GCT 00:00HS
NQL vs NZW 00:001300
MAN vs MEL 00:00BO
CBR vs PAR 00:00GIO
PEN vs WST 00:00Pepp
SOU vs CRO 00:00ANZ
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Round 25
Wed, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs WST 22:00MSS
Thu, 25 AugTimes shown AEST
CBY vs NQL 00:00Belmore Sports Ground
MEL vs BRI 00:00AAMI
GCT vs PEN 00:00Cbus
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CRO vs SYD 00:00Shark Park
NEW vs SOU 00:00HS
PAR vs STG 00:00Pirtek
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Round 26
Wed, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs PAR 22:00MSS
Thu, 01 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SYD 00:00SUN
CBY vs SOU 00:00ANZ
STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
NQL vs GCT 00:001300
MEL vs CRO 00:00AAMI
WST vs CBR 00:00VAS
PEN vs MAN 00:00Pepp
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