NRL Appoints Debutant Referee Adam Gee for Grand Finale Amid Forward Pass Controversy


In a bold step, the NRL has announced a debutant referee, Adam Gee, for the forthcoming Sunday’s grand finale. Two touch judges, Phil Henderson and Drew Oultram, who erred in a clear forward pass by Reece Walsh in the preliminary final in Brisbane against the Warriors, have been relieved of their duties for the climactic event.

Last year, both Henderson and Oultram had been part of the final match between the Eels and the Panthers. Their oversight, which led to immense demands for the Bunker to decide on forward passes, has resulted in Chris Sutton and David Munro replacing them as touch judges. The Panthers are vying for their third consecutive triumph, with Gee appointed as the main referee. Ashley Klein, who officiated last year’s grand final, will serve as the official for the Bunker.

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This constitutes a notable advancement for Gee, who managed to stay out of controversy for his officiating last Friday. He notably stepped into the limelight after Klein was side-lined consequent to two major errors during the electrifying Storm-Roosters clash.

NRL head of football, Graham Annesley, lauded Gee, stating, “Adam thoroughly deserves his appointment to the grand final.” He added, “Adam has refereed 236 matches, and his calm demeanour and strong work ethic are testament to that experience.”

Belinda Sharpe is set to referee the NRLW grand final after making her NRL debut in regular season’s last match, and Wyatt Raymond is due to referee the NRL State Championship commencing the Sunday triple-header.

NRL general manager of elite officiating, Jared Maxwell, commended the referees for their stellar performance throughout the season, emphasizing that: “This privilege is reward for all the hard work and dedication.”

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.