NRL demotes officials over botched Katoa try ruling
Two of the match officials involved in last Friday night's controversial Cronulla-Canberra match have been axed and another two demoted for this weekend's round of NRL fixtures.
Referee Gavin Reynolds and touch judge Ricky MacFarlane were dropped for the errors in the Raiders' controversial 28-24 loss, while State of Origin whistleblower Gerard Sutton has been assigned to a lower-profile match.
The senior review official for the Southern Cross Group Stadium clash, Luke Patten, has been demoted to a lesser role in the NRL Bunker.
Reynolds overruled MacFarlane to disallow a try to Canberra fullback Brad Abbey after incorrectly calling a cut-out pass from Canberra centre Joey Leiliua as forward, while the touch judge erred in another crucial decision late in the match.
With MacFarlane raising his flag to indicate a knock-on by Cronulla centre Jesse Ramien in the lead-up to what proved to be a decisive try by winger Sione Katoa, some Raiders defenders stopped.
Sutton momentarily put the whistle to his mouth but allowed play to continue before asking the Bunker to confirm his belief there had been a knock-on. However, the decision was overturned and the try was awarded.
The game's No.1 referee, who was the lead whistleblower in all three Origin matches, was spared the axe but will control the Titans-Warriors match at Cbus Super Stadium at 2pm on Sunday.
Warriors hooker Issac Luke did not appreciate his team's clash being described as a low-profile game, voicing his disappointment on Twitter, before deleting the tweet.
Patten will be the review official for the Cowboys-Knights game on Friday night and Sunday's Roosters-Dragons match at Allianz Stadium.
However, long-serving former touch judge Steve Chiddy will be the senior review official for both matches.