Unlike his NSW rival Laurie Daley, Queensland coach Kevin Walters says he won’t seek a meeting with NRL referees boss Tony Archer before Wednesday’s State of Origin II in Brisbane.
Daley is believed to have sought out Archer for a pre-match chat after the officials he wanted dumped from game two – Gerard Sutton and Ben Cummins – were retained for their must win clash.
Walters didn’t see the point, saying he did not feel the referees would officiate any differently to their display in Queensland’s 6-4 game one win despite it earning the ire of Daley.
“I don’t feel the need,” Walters said.
“We are very confident in the referees who have been appointed.
“Our players made mistakes in game one.
“It’s my job for the team to limit those errors.
“The referees didn’t have anything to do with those.”
Asked if he believed Sutton and Cummins would react to Daley’s criticism and see calls differently in game two, Walters said: “I don’t think so.
“I thought the referees did a great job in game one and I am sure they will look forward to a great game two – and I have every belief that they will.”
Daley didn’t hold back after NSW’s game one loss, saying he would be asking for “those two referees” to not officiate in Brisbane.
“Based on history and based on that game,” Daley said.
Stats show Blues fans should be anxious before Origin II at Suncorp Stadium.
NSW have a 1-4 win-loss record under Sutton.
And under Cummins?
It’s a marginally better 5-7 tally.
Yet Daley changed his tune when asked about the officials on Tuesday.
“He (Archer) believes that these two guys are the best referees and I’ve got no reason to doubt him,” Daley said.
“I’m sure they’ll come up here with an open mind and referee the game to the best of their ability.”
Queensland captain Cameron Smith seemed mystified why referees were considered a factor in game one.
“I like to think the referees officiate the game as they see it,” he said after game one which finished in a 4-4 penalty count.
“There’s no leaning toward one team, they understand their role as referees.
“These two guys are experienced, they understand how big an occasion it is – I am sure they will do a good job.”