BIG OCCASION WON'T FAZE REFEREE
By Les Muir
HE’S regarded as the best referee in Group Six, and Matt Navin can’t wait to get a crack at two of the top teams in the Group Nine premiership.
With Group Nine’s finest referee Scott Muir on duty at Campbelltown Stadium, Navin has been appointed to control Sunday’s cracker game between Young and Southcity at Alfred Oval.
Navin, Muir and other Group Nine referees including Mick Kirkman, Sean Byatt and Ben Whitby will be trading places for the weekend.
Muir will lead a Group Nine contingent to Campbelltown Stadium for the important games between City Kangaroos and Picton as part of the annual referee’s exchange.
Conversely, Navin and his Group Six counterparts will have centre stage at Alfred Oval.
Group Nine referee’s director Tony Fletcher said the referee exchange program provided Group Nine referees with an insight into how officials from other rugby league competitions went about their job.
Fletcher has been a staunch backer of the referee exchange since it was instigated more than a decade ago
It is not the first time Muir has taken part in the program, but the occasion will be a breakthrough for others in the Group Nine contingent.
Rival coaches James Woolford and Nick Skinner are expected to take an opportunity to discuss rule interpretations with Navin before the game.
Young and Southcity are two of the most disciplined teams in the premiership, but there will be much at stake on Sunday.
The Bulls are at the top of the table and must win to stay there, while the Cherrypickers are in third place and keen to go higher.
Significantly, Southcity will be without centre Usaia O’Sullivan on Sunday.
O’Sullivan has a wedding commitment in Sydney and has been replaced by Luke McBeath, who came off the bench in Southcity’s 50-6 win over Cootamundra last Sunday.
Elsewhere, Tumbarumba has named a powerful team to try to continue Albury’s horror run on Saturday.
The Greens are fresh from hammering Brothers last weekend and the Thunder are in a deep hole following four straight losses.
Ironically, Albury’s last win was a 40-12 thrashing of Young, who have been unbeaten since.