When the Grand Final rolls around it’s easy to get excited about the stories behind the players taking to the field, the coaches in the dugout and even the fans cheering them on.
But we often forget that it is also a referee’s biggest night of the year. It is their reward for being the best official in 2022 as they get to take centre stage on the grandest stage of the year with huge responsibility on their shoulders to make the Grand Final a good game, refereed in good spirits and ensuring that any controversial moments and big decisions are dealt with right.
One man who knows this more than most is Richard Silverwood who took charge of over 400 Super League games including deciders in 2010, 2012 and 2013 involving four different teams all of which were refereed incredibly well.
Now merely a spectator, Silverwood has had his say on who he thinks should be the man in the middle come the Grand Final on Saturday.
His first pick would be James Child identifying him as the man to take charge of the Grand Final after he kept his cool and managed a difficult game that reached boiling point in France as Leeds rolled onto the road to Old Trafford with a win over Catalans in a game with four cards including a red card for Gil Dudson.
His next pick would be Robert Hicks whilst his third would be Liam Moore who did a superb job at Wigan as Leeds took another step towards the Super League trophy on Friday night.
My pick for referee in the GF would be James Child. Strong performance in Catalans v Leeds and overall a good season.
2nd would be Robert Hicks
3rd Liam Moore
— Richard Silverwood (@SilversRef) September 20, 2022
Surprisingly, Silverwood didn’t include Chris Kendall who managed the other semi-final brilliantly making some big calls.
We will find out who will be the man in the middle in the next few days.