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Why the referees ‘nearly ruined’ Origin decider

Levy & Riddell

Former NRL player Mark Riddell says the number of penalties awarded in the first half of New South Wales’ Origin victory could have spoiled the spectacle.

Referees Ashley Klein and Gerard Sutton awarded 12 penalties in the first 40 minutes of the Blues’ last-gasp 26-20 win over Queensland.

While they put the whistle away in the second half leading to a more free-flowing contest, Riddell said the two experienced officials were no longer the benchmark when it came to Rugby League referees.

“Those two referees nearly ruined it last night,” he told Macquarie Sports Radio.

“I don’t think those two gentlemen are the two best referees we’ve got in the game anymore.

“I know the NRL and (referees boss) Graham Annesley like to hang their hat out ‘they’re our two most experienced referees and they’ve been there before’.

“There were situations in the first half when they absolutely crapped themselves and didn’t know what to there.

“There’s so much better up and coming referees than are (officiating) better than those two year.”

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Image: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Levy & Riddell