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Hayne, Archer to referee grand final
By Ed Jackson
18:31 AEST Tue Sep 29 2009
(L-R) Tony Archer and Shayne Hayne
Tony Archer (L) and Shayne Hayne have been appointed to referee Sunday's NRL grand final.

Referee Tony Archer has warned Melbourne and Parramatta to not be surprised if an eight-point try is awarded in Sunday's NRL grand final.

Archer was named on Monday along with Shayne Hayne as the referees for this year's decider - the first to use the two-referees system.

And the 2007 and 2008 grand final referee said he and Hayne would have no qualms awarding a potentially match-deciding eight-point try if the situation arose.

An eight-pointer was awarded to the Bulldogs in Friday's preliminary final loss to the Eels after Jarryd Hayne's leg-first tackle on Bryson Goodwin, though Hazem El Masri missed the first conversion.

"I think all the players are aware that it could happen," Archer said.

"They've happened in really high profile games too.

"Certainly one in the Origin that we were involved in and there was one on Friday night (in Parramatta's preliminary final win).

"If they don't know, I'm sure their coaches will be making them well aware that option is available to the referees."

NRL chief executive David Gallop praised the two-referee system before announcing Archer and Hayne, saying it had ensured an exciting brand of football in 2009.

The system, which was only introduced at the start of the season and will be used in a grand final for the first time on Sunday, also got a tick from Archer.

"I think everyone knows that the football this year on the field has been excellent and in part that's been contributed by the two referees," he said.

"Certainly the game's more continuous, there's less stoppages and no doubt the two refs have added to that."

He went on to say the main reason for introducing the system, eradicating the controversial "grapple" tackle had also been a success.

"Certainly the presence of another referee on the ruck and in that position has certainly given us more ability to protect them (players)," he said.

Hayne, who will be refereeing his 200th first grade match and first grand final, said while delighted to be controlling the season decider, he'd approach it like any other fixture.

"You don't expect to get your 200th game in a grand final but I'll always remember my 200th game going forward," Hayne said.

"We'll just go out and referee as we normally do and whatever happens, happens.

"I've refereed both clubs throughout the year, several times, and had no issues at all. This weekend will hopefully be no different at all."

Gallop said both referees had earned their chance to call Sunday's match.

"It probably says something about the program that we've got experienced guys, in the best match of the year we've got the best combination," he said.


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