From NRL Grand Final to Student RL
Just 24 hours after stepping off the plane NRL referee Matt Cecchin was back on the field as he took charge of Leeds Met University v Northumbria University in the opening round of the SRL Super 8 competition at Headingley Carnegie on Wednesday.
The 37-year old from Sydney only touched down in Manchester the previous day but was quick to pull on his boots ahead of his involvement in the Gillette Four Nations.
“It was great to be out there,” said Cecchin, who just two weeks earlier had controlled the NRL Grand Final between the Manly Sea Eagles and New Zealand Warriors in front of 82,000 fans at ANZ Stadium.
“A game is a game and you just focus on play-the-ball to play-the-ball, but it was really good fun.
With the NRL now operating with two referees Cecchin – who made his first grade debut back in 2001 – also had to adapt to being in sole charge again.
“It felt a bit strange at first but I’ve been refereeing for over 20 years so it all comes back to you really quickly, it’s like riding a bike.
“I can’t wait for the Four Nations now, it’s a career highlight.
“I’ve been dreaming about it since I was 12 years old so to now have the privilege of coming over to referee in a great part of the world is fantastic.
“I’ve been lucky enough to be involved as a touch judge in an international game before but this is the first time I’ll be in full control, I can’t wait!”
Leeds Met University won the game 52-12 to open their account in the Student Rugby League Super 8 competition.
For more details on Student Rugby League visit http://www.studentrl.com/