Sport

Exciting Test, but the plus was one referee

Kangaroos debutant Shannon Boyd runs at Kiwis Isaac Luke and Kevin Proctor during the trans-Tasman Test at nib Stadium in Perth.
Kangaroos debutant Shannon Boyd runs at Kiwis Isaac Luke and Kevin Proctor during the trans-Tasman Test at nib Stadium in Perth. RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

SATURDAY'S record-breaking trans-Tasman Test in Perth was by no means a classic, but the contest provided plenty of enjoyment for Aussie fans and a reassuring glimpse into the future.

Sure, the Kiwis were disappointing in the 26-6 loss to the Kangaroos, but history tells us they will be much better once the Four Nations tournament gets under way. But the Aussies were good, and will also improve as action heats up over the next five weeks.

What really impressed about the Kangaroos was the manner in which they handled, and tamed, the much-vaunted Kiwi pack. Let's not forget that on the back of their forwards the Kiwis had won three of the past four Tests between the two countries, and are reigning World Cup and Four Nations champs.

Yet with no Parker, Gallen, Woods, Myles, Tamou or Papalii, the new-look Kangaroos pack was exceptional. And giant debutant Shannon Boyd led the assault, with the Test rookie back row of Matt Gillett, Boyd Cordner and Trent Merrin terrific.

Australia's other two debutants, Valentine Holmes and Tyson Frizell, also made eye-catching entries to the international arena and helped confirm the widely held belief that the Kangaroos could field a second-string Test team and still be competitive.

But while the performance of Australia's Test team - under what could justifiably be considered a new regime - was encouraging, for me the performance of referee Matt Cecchin was the highlight.

The chief KPI of a good referee should be the fact he is seen but not heard. And if no one - coaches, players, commentators or fans - whinges about his performance, he has done his job.

Cecchin was by no means perfect. Early on he incorrectly ruled on a ball strip against Darius Boyd and then missed a knock-on from Josh Dugan, but no great advantage was gained by either team.

What impressed about his refereeing was his decisive decision-making, which on the majority of occasions was spot on. Twice he ruled correctly on loose carries and twice on players milking penalties in the play the ball, two of the most contentious and annoying issues in the game.

And, he did it on his own. Cecchin had no one in his ear blabbing away, trying to enforce their judgment on the flow of the game. The entire responsibility was his, and as a result his decisions were concise and confident, and almost always correct.

The one-referee structure will, thankfully, operate for the entirety of the Four Nations tournament. If only the powers-that-be had the gumption to return it to the NRL.

Other aspects of interest from the trans-Tasman Test were the 20,282 crowd, a record for a rugby league match in Perth; the continued ill-discipline of the Kiwis, in particular serial offender Jared Waerea-Hargreaves; and another lacklustre display from Kiwi halfback Shaun Johnson who, for some inexplicable reason, refuses to run the ball.

But, mark my words, the Kiwis will be much tougher when they next play Australia, in Coventry on November 5.

Topics:  bunker kangaroos kiwis nrl referees tony durkin


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Heatwave fatalities? Ambos' warn of heat stress danger

As the heatwave strikes, make sure you keep cool.

PARAMEDICS fear the looming Queensland heatwave could kill

Why old Telstra customers will lose service - permanently

TELSTRA will close its old 2G network on Thursday, December 1, meaning customers will need to upgrade to a more modern 3G phone.

What you need to know before Thursday

HEATWAVE: Towns to be scorched as temps pass 40°C

SUMMER is going to arrive at full force this week,

Local Partners

Car stolen from business

Police would like to talk to them in relation to a crime in Logan.

Man builds playground entirely out of packing tape

Artist Eric Lennartson is in the process of completing his huge tape sculpture at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

VIDEO:And here's where you can play on it.

Countdown to Woodford Folk Festival begins

ECONOMIC BOON: Woodford Folk Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.  Photo Contributed

The first larger-than-life inhabitants have stepped into Woodfordia

'I need to do what I can': 65km walk for cancer patient

Karlee Robinson is walking from Caloundra to Noosa for her cousin Aaron Parker, who has terminal brain cancer.

What do you do when someone you love has terminal brain cancer?

Jennifer Lawrence gives keys to new partner

Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence

Oscar winner settling down with new partner

Rogue One star proud to lead new Star Wars film

Felicity Jones leads the new Star Wars film

Star Wars lead proud to be in front in sci-fi

What's on the small screen this week

Ernie Dingo stars in the TV series Going Places with Ernie Dingo.

ERNIE Dingo stars in a new travel series and Seven airs the AACTAs.

Mandy Moore feels like she's 60

Mandy Moore sees herself as a 60-year-old rather than a 32-year-old

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

David Attenborough on facing his mortality

Sir David Attenborough in a scene from the TV special The Death of the Oceans.

Life without Sir David Attenborough is hard to imagine

INSIDE STORY: Disused pipeline stops hundreds from building

TRAIL OF TEARS: Route of the disused Santos oil pipeline which is stopping hundreds of Ipswich residents from building.

Santos responds but Tully says easements issue must be addressed

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!