Robert Finch sacks Ben Cummins and Gerard Sutton for NRL round seven

  • From: The Daily Telegraph
  • April 20, 2010 3:08PM

NRL referees boss Robert Finch has today sacked two referees for incompetent displays in the round six clash between Parramatta and Souths.

Referees Ben Cummins and Gerard Sutton have been dropped to the lower grades after their disgraceful decisions to sin-bin Parramatta captain Nathan Cayless and Souths centre Beau Champion.

The Daily Telegraph’s Sport Editor-at-large Phil Rothfield described the decision as a victory for commonsense.

“This is a a great win for The Daily Telegraph and our readers who all drove the message hard yesterday that they were no longer prepared to tolerate sub-standard refereeing,” Rothfield said.

Despite making the correct call to axe the whistleblowers, referees boss Finch was still standing by his edict to sin-bin players for repeated indiscretions.

In a statement released by the NRL at 2.45pm, Finch said: "Referees will continue to crack down on teams that continually breach the rules but it is clearly unacceptable for the wrong player to be sent to the sin-bin.

"Referees are accountable for their performances and between the two of them this error should not have occurred.

"It is now up to both Ben and Gerard to work their way back into the top grade, which I am sure they will do.”

The NRL statement continued: "Finch today also announced that the referees’ interpretation of the advantage rule would revert back to the discretion of the referees and that, from Round 7, the 10-metre territorial gain for the advantage rule will no longer apply.

“The 10-metre ruling was designed to get more consistency from all referees, which is what every club, player and fan wants, but it has become apparent that the advantage rule interpretation should be left to the discretion of the referees and that is what will occur from this week.”