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Cummins and Sutton to referee NRL GF


Ben Cummins and Gerard Sutton will referee Sunday's NRL grand final between the Sydney Roosters and Canberra.

Cummins is the lead official with Sutton his assistant - the second time the pair will combine for a decider after the 2015 grand final.

It will be the fifth decider for both referees.

"It means a lot. It's something we've been working to all year and I'm just excited to doing the game with my colleagues," Cummins said on Tuesday.

NRL head of football Graham Annesley said the standard of refereeing had improved late in the season after going "backwards" during the State of Origin period.

"I felt that around the Origin period, that performances dipped a little and we took a step backwards," Annesley said.

"Once we got through that period, I felt that they've come home pretty strongly.

"And during the finals series itself, I think their performances have been extremely good.

"So you get very little controversy around referees in the finals series."

The video officials will be Jared Maxwell and Ben Galea, with Chris Butler and Nick Beashel the touch judges.

Kasey Badger and Daniel Schwass will officiate the women's grand final, while Todd Smith and Tyson Brough will referee the State Championship.

Badger will be the first woman to be lead referee in the women's decider.

Referee Belinda Sharpe, who was overlooked for the men's grand final, wasn't considered for the women's game because officials remain in their competition.

Annesley said Sharpe opted to officiate in the men's finals series prior to the start of the NRLW competition a month ago.

"If she had wanted to referee in the NRLW, that would've happened, and she would've been competing for that game," Annesley said.

"But she wants to compete at the highest level possible.

"And it would've been unfair on the people who were officiating in that competition to bring someone in who hadn't been there."

© AAP 2019