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Referee Matt Cecchin overlooked for World Cup final

Gerard Sutton will referee the 2017 World Cup final between Australia and England in Brisbane on Saturday.

He has been chosen ahead of Matt Cecchin who has been heavily criticised this week after not sending a possible last-gasp Tongan try to the video referee in their semi-final against England.

Trailing 20-18 and with only 10 second left on the clock, Cecchin ruled a knock-on against Andrew Fifita despite replays showing the ball may have been ripped out by Elliot Whitehead.

The replays showed the England back-rower grabbing at the ball, with Fifita losing control before regathering and grounding on the try line.

Cecchin decided the incident did not warrant a video referee referral and instead blew for full-time, with England progressing to their first World Cup final in 22 years.

Tongan supporters have since took to the streets in Auckland to protest against the result, meanwhile their head coach Kristian Woolf said he was shocked by the decision.

Cecchin refereed the 2017 NRL Grand Final alongside his colleague Sutton, but Sutton has been preferred by head of officiating Tony Archer for Saturday’s game at Suncorp Stadium.

“It was obviously a difficult decision to pick the referee for the final after Matt Cecchin’s and Gerry’s excellent performances in the semi-finals and throughout the tournament,” Archer said.

“But I’m confident were have chosen the right person to do job. I’ve been very satisfied with the performances of our officials.”

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