NRL 2019: Referees Adam Gee, Gavin Badger dropped after Warriors controversy

NRL referees Adam Gee and Gavin Badger have been axed from action this weekend, after failing to stop play, when Peta Hiku suffered a concussion during the Warriors' 24-20 win over Newcastle last Saturday.

The call was one of three controversial errors made by the officials, but the decision to allow play to continue with a concussed Hiku was deemed the most serious.

Despite seeing and acknowledging that Hiku was seeing stars, neither Gee or Badger called time off, and the Knights went on to score a try, with the Warriors a man down in their defensive line.

Subsequently, Gee and Badger have not been appointed to officiate any NRL matches in round 17, although Badger is on standby for Sunday's fixture between the St George Illawarra Dragons and Canberra Raiders at WIN Stadium.

Play is normally only stopped when the trainers indicate to the referee that a player has suffered a head knock, but NRL head of football Graham Annesley said the game should have been stopped, after Badger instructed Gee to "watch" Hiku as he stumbled backwards.

"The referee [Badger] saw it and for a reason I don't understand allowed play to continue," Annesley said on Monday.

"The [lead] referee [Gee] incorrectly gave an explanation after the try had been scored, saying the trainer needs to bring it to our attention.

"That only has to happen if the referees and touch judges are unaware that a player has suffered a serious injury."

On top of the head-knock incident, Warriors winger Ken Maumalo had a try disallowed moments earlier by the 'bunker', despite replays showing the ball being grounded.

Gee went to the bunker and said a try had been scored, but video officials overruled his decision, after looking at another camera angle.

"The other angle cast doubt in their mind about their initial thoughts and they didn't need to do that," Annesley said. "That's a training issue that management of the bunker have to deal with."

The referees also missed a knock-on from Knights playmaker Mason Lino in the lead-up to Newcastle's opening try of the game.


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