Sydney Roosters captain Jake Friend insists the club’s simmering issues with referee Ben Cummins have been sorted out following peace talks.
Cummins will control the Roosters’ NRL clash with Melbourne on Saturday – his first Roosters match since coach Trent Robinson’s Anzac Day outburst in which he accused the whistleblower of disrespecting his players over several years.
Robinson copped a $40,000 fine for his comments, which came as Friend said Cummins refused to talk to him when approached on the field.
While the aftermath of the Roosters’ controversial round eight loss to St George Illawarra left relations at crisis point, Friend said on Wednesday the parties had worked through their differences.
“It’s in the past, it’s done and dusted,” Friend said.
“I have respect for all the referees and not just Ben, I understand they’ve got a tough job and I’m sure it’ll all be fine on the weekend.”
He added: “He (Cummins) is a professional and he’ll do it as he does every week.
“I’m not going to go into (what was said at the meeting) but I’ve chatted to Ben and we’ve both moved on and he’s reffed plenty of games since and I’ve played plenty.”
While the Roosters have been habitual offenders and heavily penalised since Robinson took over in 2013, they have won just two of 15 penalty counts in games Cummins refereed in that time period, according to Fox Sports Stats.
Cummins is certain to be under the microscope on Saturday, and not just from Roosters fans.
It comes after NSW coach Laurie Daley called for Cummins and Gerard Sutton to be stood down for State of Origin II after he was angered by their efforts in the Blues’s 8-6 loss to Queensland in the series opener.