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Referee Ashley Klein.

NRL head of football Graham Annesley wants the one-referee and six-again rules introduced in 2020 to remain next year but concedes it's not his decision.

The ultimate say will go to a yet-to-be formulated review panel.

Annesley used his final weekly NRL briefing of the season to show statistics on how the game has improved from finals series of the past to the current one leading into Sunday's grand final between the Storm and Penrith.

There have been fewer stoppages and penalties as well as closer margins from the decision to move from two on-field referees to one and introduce the six-again rule to clean up the ruck.

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"Personally I think they've been successful … but we have committed to doing a full review at the end of the season with the referees and their union and we'll do that.

Graham Annesley weekly football briefing - Finals week three

"That will be independent to the extent there will be a number of independent people that don't have any skin in the game one way or another, that will be part of the review," he said, referring to former coaches, or players, even senior members of the media.

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From the three weeks of finals, or eight games so far, the NRL has hit a high of 51.6 points per game on average compared with the previous record of 49.2 in 2001.

Tries are at 8.8 per game in the 2020 Telstra Premiership finals series, compared with 6.3 in 2019.

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Penalties for this finals series are 7.8 per game, when it was nearly double just two years ago at 14.7.

Annesley was also confident the NRL would reach its 40,000 COVID-safe capacity at ANZ Stadium despite the fact the majority of Melbourne fans – and many of the Storm players’ families – cannot get to Sydney due to border closures.

“No they can’t but you tend to find you've got rugby league fans generally who love going to major events … not everyone going to a grand final in an unimpacted year are fans of the two teams playing,” he said.

He even invoked the popularity of the Storm’s longest-playing servant Cameron Smith as a reason why people should attend.

“There will be plenty of people out there thinking ‘Well if this does turn out to be his last game, it’s something to tell your grandkids about – I was there when Cameron Smith played his last game’. If it is of course, and I have absolutely no knowledge of that. Believe me, I’d be the last person to find out.

“But you think about all the other great players out there on Sunday if you want to see rugby league played at its absolute best. These two teams have been the best all year so it’s going to be an amazing event.

“I don’t think we’ll have too much trouble moving tickets.”

All the grand final day info

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