Referee Matt Cecchin has earned his first NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final berth after today being appointed alongside Tony Archer for the 2011 decider at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.
NRL Referees Coaches Stuart Raper and Bill Harrigan today announced the appointments which will also see Dave Munro referee the Toyota Cup Grand Final with former NRL stars Luke Phillips and Henry Perenara as his touch judges.
For Archer, this will be his fifth consecutive NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final.
“Tony and Matt have been the best performed referees throughout the Telstra Premiership Finals Series,” Harrigan said today.
“They have proven to be a successful combination and have earned the right to referee the biggest match of the year.
“The depth in our ranks has never been stronger and for Matt to break through and earn the right to officiate in a Grand Final is testament to the way he has performed in the finals series.
“Tony is the most experienced Grand Final referee in our squad and for him to achieve this honour again is a reward for his professionalism, skill and leadership within our team.”
NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, today paid tribute to the commitment of all match officials throughout the season.
“This is the first year we have dual coaches and Stuart’s experience as a coach and Bill’s as a referee has proven to be a successful partnership and one that has greatly enhanced the development of the match officials’ squad,” Mr Gallop said.
“For all their critics, it’s days like this when we acknowledge just how important and how respected the roles of our match officials are.
“Every decision match officials make is the subject of intense scrutiny and for them to continue performing week in, week out under that pressure is a credit to their professionalism and commitment.
“It’s the dream of every player to be in a Grand Final and it is the same for officials, and I want to congratulate all those who today have achieved that today.
“I would to thank all the officials in the squad for their efforts this season and wish Matt and Tony, along with touch judges Paul Holland and Dan Eastwood, and video referees Russell Smith and Sean Hampstead, the best of luck for the Grand Final.”
2011 Telstra Premiership Grand Final Day Match Officials
Telstra Premiership Grand Final : Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles v Warriors:
Referees: Tony Archer and Matt Cecchin
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and Dan Eastwood
Video Referees: Russell Smith and Sean Hampstead
Toyota Cup Grand Final: Warriors v North Queensland Cowboys
Referee: Dave Munro
Touch Judges: Luke Phillips and Henry Perenara
Video Referee: Steve Clark