Matt Cecchin, your time is up in the National Rugby League.
The past three weeks haven’t been your best. You produced three consecutive sub-standard performances which don’t earn you the right to referee at the top grade, let alone be the main ref.
Panther fans last night weren’t happy with you as the controlling referee. With the game on the line, a no-call on Corey Norman interfering at the ruck when Bryce Cartwright was trying to play the ball just summed up how steep the fall from grace has been for the once leading ref.
Even a consideration that you decided that Waqa Blake scored when he clearly dropped the ball was a poor judgement whether you or the touch judge made the call.
Last week at Campbelltown you failed to keep both sides apart and produced one of the most boring NRL games in living memory. With the Cowboys up 2-0 you missed a blatant holding back of Kevin Naiqama as he chased a ball near his opponents line. Quickly you decided to call play on… blind Freddy could have seen there was a problem with that play.
A week earlier you set the benchmark for the Campbelltown farce with the Broncos vs Panthers game. Some say your call on Matt Moylan taking the ball out in goal was technically correct but not the intention of the rule as he was well over the dead ball line. Again you failed to keep both sides apart and the result was thirteen points in eighty minutes. Hardly inspiring for 23,000 at Suncorp that night.
There is no doubt your impact on the game has been inspiring especially to the gay community when you came out back in 2012. It broke barriers and bridged the gap between the GLBTI community and heterosexual community in regards to rugby league.
You are now 41 and like your predecessor Shayne Hayne you’ve gone on one too many seasons.
It’s time for you to step aside and bring through a younger and fresh generation of referees.
We can already see that David Munro and Chris Butler are coming through the ranks confidently and quietly. Daniel Olford and Liam Nicholls are biding their time in VB NSW Cup and represent the future.
Matt Cecchin please move on to save your credibility.
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