GROUP Three Rugby League president Wayne Bridge is against the idea of appointing referees from outside the area to control grand finals.
Mr Bridge was commenting on a suggestion from Old Bar coach Jason Morrissey in Wednesday's Times. Morrissey was scathing in his criticism of the performance of Zac Schembri in the match won 49-16 by Wauchope.
Old Bar was reduced to 11 players by fulltime, with two sent off. In all Old Bar had five players in the sin bin at various stages of the game and were penalised 17-4.
However, Mr Bridge said it would be unlikely the Group Three Referees' Association would agree to having outside officials in charge of the biggest game of the season.
"We'd be asking them to referee matches here all year, but then tell them they can't referee the grand final,'' he said.
"They're not going to stand for that and I can't blame them.''
And he added that logistically, it would be difficult to import referees because the various competitions throughout NSW all finish on different weekends.
"Group Two played their grand finals a month ago,'' he said.
"So their referees haven't been training for a month. It would be hard to ask them to come down here and referee our grand final with that preparation.''
He said the Newcastle semi-finals are still underway, with the grand finals this weekend meaning the top officials would be involved in matches there. He believes it unlikely those referees would be interested in controlling matches in Group Three.
Mr Bridge also backed the ability of the Group Three referees.
"I don't think those from other groups would be any better than the ones we have here,'' he said.
He added there is one constant.
"Coaches are always going to squeal about referees,'' he said.
"It doesn't matter where they're from.''
Group Three secretary Barrie Smith described the proposal as 'ridiculous' and said it will never happen while he is involved with the administration of Group Three.
"You wouldn't bring in a club from another area to play in the semi-finals. That would be ridiculous and so is the idea of bringing in outside referees,'' Mr Smith said.
Mr Smith is a former referee.
"Our numbers aren't overly strong,'' he said.
"I hear a lot of criticism of referees but I don't see those people putting their hands up to referee. I don't think criticising referees in the media is the way to go.''
Meanwhile a hearing into an incident that occurred after the Forster-Tuncurry/Old Bar final at Old Bar on Sunday September 8 has been postponed to a date to be fixed.
Mr Bridge said the hearing was postponed on a 'point of order.'
Group Three's season will conclude tonight with the presentation to be held at the Wingham Services Club. As well as the major awards, the representative coach for 2014 will also be announced.