12 Nov 2008

England worry about referee and Vautvei

6:41 pm on 12 November 2008

England are pushing for a northern hemisphere referee to control their Rugby League World Cup semi-final against New Zealand on Saturday night.

Fed up with playing under Australian referees in their three pool matches, coach Tony Smith has called for anyone but a southern hemisphere official to control their sudden-death encounter in Brisbane.

Smith's plea comes as the English are seething over leading NRL referee Tony Archer's handling of their 36-24 pool loss to the Kiwis in Newcastle.

He's taken issue with three of the Kiwis tries and a controversial penalty which saw the Kiwis grab a 26-24 lead with 10 minutes to go.

Smith's also got to come up with a game plan to contain winger Manu Vatuvei who ran in four tries with star winger Abe Gardner likely to return for England.