Officials Dropped

The National Rugby League has stood down a ground manager, two video referees and a touch judge over incidents from three separate games in round two of the Telstra Premiership.

The NRL will also demand all clubs review their time keeping personnel for games and that the clubs ensure they only appoint time keepers correctly versed in the NRL's rules.

NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said today the players and the fans are entitled to expect a better performance from officials than was encountered last weekend.

"I'm not going to hide from the fact that it simply wasn't good enough," he said today.

"The players deliver a high standard and for the most part so do our officials.

"Like the players though, our officials have to be accountable."

The major issues over round two were:

* The failure of any NRL official, or of the club appointed time- keepers at the Souths v Tigers game to ensure that the teams changed ends at the five minute 'mark' of extra time.

* A video referee in Melbourne yesterday making an incorrect ruling in relation to a try.

* A touch judge seeking the video referee to examine an incident that was outside of the prescribed authority of the video referee and the video referee then ruling on the basis of that incident, contrary to the NRL's written guidelines.

The NRL's Ground Manager at Aussie Stadium, Bob Lannigan, has been stood down because of his failure to intervene in what was a series of errors in relation to extra time yesterday.

The NRL appoints a Ground Manager at each ground to ensure that the NRL's Operations Manual is followed in terms of the conduct of matches.

While the NRL accepts that Ground Manager is responsible for administering competition guidelines, a report into yesterday's events reveals a series of errors that also highlight inadequacies at club level and confusion among other officials. The report is summarised at the end of this release.

The Wests Tigers have written to the NRL requesting that the extra time period be disregarded and the match be declared a draw.

While understanding the Wests Tigers argument, the NRL has said that the match result will stand as a win to South Sydney under the Golden Point rule.

In relation to the issues affecting refereeing performance, NRL Referees Coordinator Robert Finch has decided that video referee Phil Cooley and touch judge Russell Turner (both from the Panthers v Raiders game) be stood down.

Mick Lewis who was the video referee in Melbourne will also not appear at Telstra Premiership level for the immediate future.