NRL ref Cecchin under fresh fire
By Ian McCullough
19:49 AEST Sun Jun 10 2012

Matt Cecchin could find himself going from State of Origin to NSW Cup in the space of a month after Sunday's NRL clash between Brisbane Broncos and Sydney Roosters was marred by three controversial calls.

Cecchin, who was last week axed from officiating Origin two, pocket referee Adam Devcich and video referee Bernard Sutton will come under scrutiny when referees' chief Bill Harrigan assesses their performances in his weekly review on Monday.

Harrigan, who survived an NRL review into the performances of match officials on Thursday, will be under pressure to sack the trio for next weekend after tries to Brisbane's Peter Wallace and the Roosters' Tinirau Arona should not have been given.

Arona dropped the ball over the line as he scored, but Cecchin did not go to the video referee and awarded the four points.

Sutton then gave Wallace the benefit of the doubt when he appeared to promote the ball in a double movement as he lunged over the line.

However, the biggest controversy came just after halftime when Roosters centre Joseph Leilua was wrestled to the ground by Broncos winger Lachlan Maranta.

The hosts claimed Cecchin called "Roosters ball" - which he denied - but before the confused home side had time to react, Maranta ripped the ball from Leilua's grasp, and without playing the ball sprinted towards the line, then passed to Alex Glenn who scored.

The try came when the score was 16-12 to the visitors and although Roosters coach Brian Smith and skipper Braith Anasta denied the decision cost them the game, like Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin they were baffled by the call.

"There were some funny things happening out there from both sides," Griffin said.

"They let Maranta get up and run with the ball so that is one we shouldn't have got."

Glenn said that he was convinced the referee would call the play back, but his decision to play the whistle paid off.

"It was funny. I didn't know what to expect. I was waiting for the referees to call it back, but they didn't," Glenn said.

Anasta banged his forehead on the table in despair at the press conference as Smith voiced his frustrations at the Glenn try.

"It's probably right at the top of the list of the amazing things that happened ... bewildering," Smith said.

"If he'd ruled we'd knocked it on or they'd knocked it back and ruled they were in possession of the ball, then at that point he had to call tackled or six again or play on and Broncos then have to play the ball.

"That's a tackle. The guy is stationary.

"It was reported to me that referee Cecchin said that the ball wasn't on the ground so therefore that wasn't a tackle.

"There are a thousand tackles made every weekend where the ball never touches the ground.

"It's whether he was stationary and whether he was held that mattered."

Anasta said Cecchin denied that he'd called Roosters ball, but was at a loss to explain why the try was awarded.

"My players were saying they (referees) said Roosters ball so I said that to the referee ... and he denied it.

"I said 'If it was Broncos ball then it was held because play had stopped and they were both holding the ball' but he said 'no'.

"I'm sick of talking about it. It's happened a lot this year."

In Sunday's other game, Cronulla ended a run of two successive losses with a comfortable 22-12 win over Gold Coast.

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