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L-R: Peter Gough, Wyatt Raymond, Chris Butler, Michael Wise and Taylor Worth.

It’s been a month of milestones, deciders and representative carnivals, and Queensland’s referees have been leading the way through it all.

In this edition of Referee Round-up, we celebrate the latest achievements of our match officials.

Queensland Rugby League state match officials manager Clayton Sharpe said while it’s been jam-packed period, the elite performers have shone through and set a platform for officiating throughout the 2022 season.

“It’s a busy time because we have all these carnivals but everyone is achieving milestones,” Sharpe said.

“Everyone’s achieving at a high level. Our carnivals are representative carnivals so people are given the opportunity to go to those to not only develop but also because they’re seen as a cut above the rest.

“It’s a level of elite performance.”

Here are some of the major milestones and moments from the past month.

1. History makers

On Saturday, April 23, a group of referees notched up a “first” for the QRL’s Officiating High Performance Unit.

It was the first time in history that all the match official roles for an NRL fixture were filled by those who have been or are currently involved in the HPU.

At the Round 7 clash between the North Queensland Cowboys and Gold Coast Titans, main referee Chris Butler was joined by touch judges, Michael Wise and Wyatt Raymond, standby referee Taylor Worth, and match day coach Peter Gough, for the momentous occasion.

L-R: Peter Gough, Wyatt Raymond, Chris Butler, Michael Wise and Taylor Worth.
L-R: Peter Gough, Wyatt Raymond, Chris Butler, Michael Wise and Taylor Worth.

2. Promotion

In Round 8 of the NRL – in the showdown between the Newcastle Knights and Melbourne Storm – Liam Kennedy made his NRL referee debut under the single referee model.

Kennedy is a former QRL HPU member.

“Liam is a great example of the effectiveness and success of the pathway offered by the QRL for match officials to be able to achieve at the highest level," Sharpe said.

Liam Kennedy in the Round 8 clash between the Newcastle Knights and Melbourne Storm. Photo: Gregg Porteous/NRL
Liam Kennedy in the Round 8 clash between the Newcastle Knights and Melbourne Storm. Photo: Gregg Porteous/NRL

3. Stepping stones 

Sixteen referees took their first steps through the QRL and Queensland Secondary Schools' Rugby League (QSSRL) carnival system earlier this month.

From May 5 to 8, the QSSRL Under 15 and Under 18 Girls' Rugby League State Championships were held at Marley Brown Oval in Gladstone, with this carnival the beginning of a development pathway for Queensland's referees.

Those in attendance were provided with coaching feedback after each appointment and received education on preparation, performance, prehab/rehab, and the expectations and values of the QRL High Performance Unit.

The under 15s grand final officiating team of Bridie Prendergast, Lachlan Higham (referee) and Taylor Ball.
The under 15s grand final officiating team of Bridie Prendergast, Lachlan Higham (referee) and Taylor Ball.
Under 18s grand final officiating team of Emma Maguire (referee), and Trent Melhert and Jaykob Brown (touch judges).
Under 18s grand final officiating team of Emma Maguire (referee), and Trent Melhert and Jaykob Brown (touch judges).

4. Grand final appointments

After another big season, it was Nick McEwan (referee), Dylan Lawrence and Cameron Wegner (touch judges) and Cody Kwik (standby referee) who were awarded with the job of officiating the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup grand final.

Souths Logan Magpies walked away victorious, claiming a 38-26 win over Townsville Blackhawks.

McEwan is also the recipient of the John Topp Medal for the junior representatives referee of the year.

Nick McEwan (referee), Dylan Lawrence and Cameron Wegner (touch judges) and Cody Kwik (standby referee) were awarded with the job of officiating the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup grand final.
Nick McEwan (referee), Dylan Lawrence and Cameron Wegner (touch judges) and Cody Kwik (standby referee) were awarded with the job of officiating the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup grand final.

5. Regional carnivals

The weekend of April 29 to May 1 saw the three major regional carnivals be played in Townsville, Gladstone and on the Gold Coast.

A number of match officials turned out at the Foley Shield, 47th Battalion and Chairman’s Challenge, in a strong showing of the refereeing talent across Queensland.

More than 30 games were played across the state over the weekend.

A Grade men's officiating team of Thomas Horne, Guy Millar and Kurt Sheather at Foley Shield.
A Grade men's officiating team of Thomas Horne, Guy Millar and Kurt Sheather at Foley Shield.

6. NRLW grand final

Another major event in Queensland rugby league in the past month was the NRLW premiership decider.

Held at Redcliffe’s Moreton Daily Stadium, the match between the Sydney Roosters and St George Illawarra Dragons was officiated by former QRL HPU member, Belinda Sharpe.

Belinda Sharpe after the NRLW grand final.
Belinda Sharpe after the NRLW grand final.

Also appointed to the match was current QRL HPU member, Tori Wilkie (standby touch judge), and former HPU member, Peter Gough (match day coach).

Wilkie also made her reserve grade debut for Gold Coast Rugby League last weekend, officiating in the Ormeau Shearers v Southport Tigers match.

 

Fantastic job ladies in the NRLW. Queensland officials Kailey Beattie, Belinda Sharpe and our very own Tori Wilkie. Tori, you did yourself and the association proud.

Posted by Gold Coast Referees on Sunday, February 27, 2022
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