Gallop backs referee despite

NRL boss David Gallop has thrown his support behind referee's coach Robert Finch and says the standard of officiating is better than ever despite another day of axings and unrest in the refereeing ranks.

Finch yesterday axed touch judge Steve Nash and admitted Steve Lyons would have been on thin ice if he had been fit to referee this weekend. Nash was axed after his decision to report Dragons captain Lance Thompson for a late hit on Bulldogs five-eighth Johnathan Thurston on Saturday night.

Lyons is under pressure after Finch admitted the referee made a wrong decision in awarding a penalty to Manly in extra time at the weekend. It resulted in Ben Walker kicking the golden points that won the Sea Eagles the game against Parramatta.