Despite the vehement protestations of NSW coach Laurie Daley, referees Ben Cummins and Gerard Sutton have been retained for State of Origin II.
Daley was highly critical of the performances of Cummins and Sutton in Origin I two weeks ago and said in the immediate aftermath of NSW’s 6-4 defeat he would ask that the veteran duo not control game two.
However, the NRL and referees boss Tony Archer have not given in to Daley’s demands.
The experienced duo, who controlled every Origin game last year and the 2015 grand final, have been appointed to officiate game two next week in Brisbane.
“I thought they both performed well in game one and they’ve held their form in the NRL since then,” Archer said on Tuesday.
“They are the most-proven referees at this level and they deserve to referee in game two.
“They are clearly the best officials for the job.”
Daley is unlikely to be impressed after being scathing of the officiating two weeks ago in Sydney.
“Put it this way, I will be asking for those two referees to not officiate in game two … there’s your story,” Daley said at the time.
When asked what he based his thoughts on, Daley replied: “Based on history and based on that game. There were plenty of big calls that happened.”
It is a stance Queensland captain Cameron Smith was critical of on Tuesday.
Smith said Daley was entitled to his opinion but believed issues that needed to be addressed in a losing team could be papered over when a coach blamed a referee.
“It can create excuses,” he said.
“I think players listen to the coach’s comments and think that everything is quite rosy on the field (when they blame a referee).
“But I am not inside their (NSW) camp.”