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From what I observed in Round 21, it was collectively a good performance all round from the referees, with only the one effort from Simpkins, bringing the marks down. I was really impressed by the overall outcome from the referees.
Now from that, the bar has been raised to a new level. The referees have to surpass that and raise it again. However, I would say that Round 22 has seen a dip in form from the collective point of view with only a couple of individuals showing how good they were.
The last round saw Shayne Hayne get a ticket to Premier League and Ben Cummins once again given the job of taking a First Grade appointment. It was long overdue in my opinion as I rate Cummins as one of the finest young referees running around at the moment.
Steve Clark: Eels v Dragons
However this game I feel he lacked a certain element of what has been the better part of his game; control. There were a total of 20 penalties blown for this game. Clark was not at fault mainly due to the Dragons poor discipline and lack of self control.
Clark?s technical game was good but I feel he was a bit whistle happy at times and could have utilised a bit more ?tough love? on the players.
He sin binned Danny Wicks late in the game for repeated infringements. Wicks I feel was hard done by seeing the side itself and not necessarily him that was the problem
Overall I would say his technical game was good but I feel he needs to improve on other areas for next week
Jason Robinson: Warriors v Sharks
This was a scrap affair to say the least. Conditions were not available for an open game. Rain was teeming down all night. That should not take away from the referee his responsibility to make the right calls and control a good game.
Sean Hampstead: Storm v Tigers
Hampstead continues his recent guide of promising to deliver a great performance and yet, the end result does not indicate the pre match billing. There is an old saying, ?potential and a dollar and 20 cents will get you a cup of coffee?.
Two blatant forward passes in the one movement, one by Matt Geyer and another by Ryan Hoffman, were not picked up by him, or the touch judge Russell Turner which led to Steve Turner?s first four pointer. That is absolutely unacceptable and my confidence to call him number one is down.
Overall, I would say maybe a week in Premier League may recharge his batteries. The ruling on those passes may not have been the separator between the sides but something like that could prove to be in future games.
Paul Simpkins: Cowboys v Bulldogs
Simpkins is another one of those breed who has the fancy cover but when you open the box up, you may not like what you see.
Strong on the whistle, technically sound on his signals and I feel he is beginning to regain some of that confidence that has been lacking lately.
Gavin Badger: Raiders v Broncos
One of the things I have been critical of him in recent games is his positioning. He isn?t the tallest bloke running around so he must make himself known because I have noticed he tends to get lost in the line a little bit.
Whilst the result isn?t exactly what I was hoping for, I can say I was happy with ?Badge?s? performance. I noticed where he was on the field and he certainly was coming across as being in control and confident in his calls.
Tony Archer: Roosters v Knights
Positioning wise, he was on song. The confidence in his calls was good, and his signals have been picking up lately which is a good thing for someone whose whistle tone can be difficult to understand.
Ben Cummins: Rabbitohs v Penrith
This was a game which wasn?t really given a big billing in the importance stakes in the context of the round. That can sometimes have an effect on how the referee is assessed or how he is perceived by the players.
Overall, he was good in what wasn?t the most spectacular of games. The real litmus test for Cummins lies for when he is handed a game that has interest in the public eye. For example, a game which features two teams in the top 8.