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Page last updated at 08:32 GMT, Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Smith loses Aussie referee battle

Venue: Brisbane Date: Saturday, 15 November Kick-off: 0855 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 Live and Sky Sports 2; Live text commentary on BBC Sport website; Highlights on BBC Sport website, BBC Red Button and BBC One, Saturday 1300 GMT

Australian Shayne hayne will take charge of England's match with New Zealand
Hayne was in charge of England's win over Papua New Guinea

England coach Tony Smith has failed in his quest to have a northern hemisphere referee appointed for Saturday's semi-final against New Zealand.

Smith had said he wanted "anyone but" an Australian referee after an official from the National Rugby League took charge of England's three group games.

But Australian Shayne Hayne will take charge of Saturday's crucial match at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.

Hayne took charge of England's pool game against Papua New Guinea.

Australian Ashley Klein, who referees in Super League, takes charge of the other semi-final, between hosts Australia and Fiji on Sunday.

Prior to the announcement of Hayne as referee for the England-New Zealand game, Smith said: "We've had three Australian referees so far and we've probably struggled under each of them.

"The Australians have had an Australian referee, so I don't see why we can't have one from the northern hemisphere."


Smith made an appeal to referees chief Mick Stone to have either Klein or Steve Ganson - the two officials from the Rugby Football League on the referees panel - to take charge this weekend.

But after announcing Hayne as the referee for England's game, Stone said: "It was agreed that appointments would be made on merit and, where merit permits, we would appoint on the basis of neutrality."

Super League referee Richard Silverwood said there were differences between the way the laws were interpreted in the northern and southern hemispheres, adding he sympathised with Smith.

"He has a point to a certain degree," Silverwood told Radio 5 Live.

"When a player is tackled, in the southern hemisphere they hold on a bit longer. That couple of extra seconds doesn't seem a lot in each tackle, but over 80 minutes it can sap your energy.

"These things help, but England have played poorly so far."

Rugby League World Cup : Group A Table
09 November 2008 10:42
  Team P PD PTS
1 Australia 3 112 6
2 New Zealand 3 30 4
3 England 3 -50 2
4 Papua New Guinea 3 -92 0

Rugby League World Cup : Group B Table
05 November 2008 12:59
  Team P PD PTS
1 Fiji 2 34 2
2 Scotland 2 -16 2
3 France 2 -18 2

Rugby League World Cup : Group C Table
05 November 2008 09:52
  Team P PD PTS
1 Ireland 2 16 2
2 Tonga 2 -6 2
3 Samoa 2 -10 2

see also
England 24-36 New Zealand
08 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
Australia 52-4 England
02 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
England 32-22 Papua New Guinea
25 Oct 08 |  Rugby League

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