Cecchin faces the axe after two more howlers

Cecchin faces the axe after two more howlers

Referees chief Bill Harrigan is set to send Matt Cecchin from State of Origin to park footy in the space of a month after two major gaffes in Sunday's NRL clash between the Roosters and Broncos.

Cecchin, who also refereed last year's grand final and the Four Nations final in Leeds between England and Australia, was dumped for this week's second Origin clash after a poor display in game one in Melbourne.

Harrigan said yesterday he'll have to seriously consider standing him down from NRL commitments for a week, along with Adam Devcich, following the mistakes at Allianz Stadium.

''To remain consistent, that would have to be considered,'' Harrigan said.

''It will be decided tomorrow [today] before we announce the appointments which will go out as usual in the afternoon.''

Cecchin's first error was to award a try to Roosters back-rower Tinirau Arona after he dropped the ball over the line, and opting not to go to video referee Bernard Sutton to review the play.


There was also some doubt about a try to Peter Wallace when he appeared to promote the ball following a double-movement as he lunged over the line for a try, with Sutton giving the Brisbane halfback the benefit of the doubt call.

However, the biggest controversy occurred just after half-time in the Broncos' 40-22 win, when Lachlan Maranta ripped the ball from the grasp of grounded Roosters centre Joseph Leilua, and raced away to set up a try for Alex Glenn without playing the ball.

Harrigan said Cecchin has since held up his hand and admitted he misread the situation and made an incorrect decision by not calling back the play.

''There were two that Matty Cecchin got wrong,'' Harrigan said. ''The first one was the Arona try where he lost control of the ball when he scored.

''And the other one was when the Broncos player was allowed to get up and run without playing the ball.

''He's put his hand up and said it should have been pulled back. It's one of those things. He's let a play go that he shouldn't have.

''It went through his head at the time that the player was held, but we can confirm that he was wrong.''

To add to the confusion at the time, host captain Braith Anasta said his players had heard the call of ''Roosters ball'' from the officials, something Cecchin denied when approached by the angry five-eighth on the field.

However, Harrigan revealed that after assessing the audio from the game, Anasta did have a point and an investigation was underway by his assistant Stuart Raper to find out what happened.

''There is a 'Roosters' call on our referees' audio, but the touch judges are yelling out as well,'' he said. ''There is a voice going over the top saying 'Roosters ball' and another saying 'Broncos'.

''We need to get to the bottom of it. Stuart Raper is doing a debrief on that … we should have an answer as to what happened on Tuesday.'' AAP

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