Fans and clubs outraged as the whistle-blowers come under fire.
NRL referee Shayne Hayne will be in charge of a fixture despite him coming under massive pressure for his decision not to award Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma last Friday night.
Hayne made the quick decision to go to a scrum to the Manly Sea Eagles after Nofoaluma planted the ball just on the line, with replays showing it should have been four points to the Tigers.
NRL refs boss Tony Archer rejected the notion that his men were a protected species after Hayne’s blunder did cause him to be suspended or reprimanded.
“I don’t think he’s a protected species,” Archer said, “Everyone will be judged on their performances. He was judged on his but that doesn’t automatically mean he has to go to reserve grade.
“He made a live call of a knock on and we encourage them to make live calls.
“In this case we know he should have checked it but I don’t think it’s appropriate that he should be dropped.
“Shayne’s one of the top referees in the game. He’s refereed grand finals and State of Origins. Yes, he made a mistake, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be in first grade.”
Hayne is the most experienced ref in the NRL but season 2014 has been one to forget, with his latest mistake coming on the back of him being dumped for State of Origin III, after he stood in the first two clashes.