Gladstone referee Steve Kanowski explains a ruling to North Queensland Cowboys player Jacob Lillyman.
Gladstone referee Steve Kanowski explains a ruling to North Queensland Cowboys player Jacob Lillyman.

Steve thrilled to step up as league referee

By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au

GLADSTONE rugby league referee Steve Kanowski was among familiar faces when controlling Saturday night's trial match between Central Queensland Comets and North Queensland Cowboys at Rockhampton.

Lining up for the Cowboys side in their 44-0 victory at Browne Park were three Toowoomba district products Carl Webb, Michael Luck and Jaiman Lowe ? all of who he refereed in junior fixtures prior to his move to Gladstone.

Kanowski said any thoughts he had that he would not be remembered were put to rest when, after penalising Luck, he was met with 'Oh Steve, c'mon' by the big forward.

His performance also drew praise from Webb who labelled it better than some he had seen at National Rugby League level.

With a possible Queensland Cup berth riding on Queensland Rugby League referees director Eddie Ward's assessment of him, Kanowski enjoyed his time in the middle on Saturday night.

'It was a real step up, particularly the speed of the game,' Kanowski said.

'The skills on show were just incredible. An example was the fact the players practise their flat passing so often, you had to be on your game because the passes looked forward at first but were actually going dead flat.'

Kanowski said player discipline on both sides was paramount, needing only to say the word and defenders instantly moved off the tackled player or knew how much longer they could hold on if the tackle was deemed dominant.

'I had a ball,' Kanowski said. 'It was great fun getting in there with the big boys. It was a good hard game, and Comets played it hard.'

Regardless of the outcome of Ward's appraisal, Kanowski said he had enjoyed officiating at a higher level and was sure he would benefit from the experience.



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