Young A-grade referee opens up about pressure to be perfect
HE HAS officiated at HDC Under-20s and Intrust Super Cup level, and was the man in the middle for last season's A-grade grand final between Wests and Moranbah.
But Jeremy Meadows still gets nervous thinking about stepping on to the field to oversee tomorrow's show-piece event.
"I'd like to say this time will be easier, but I won't know until the day," he said.
"I'm sure the nerves will kick in before that first whistle goes.
"It can be a bit daunting with the big crowd there and everything that comes with grand final day."
Meadows' 11-year referee career began in Brisbane as a 14-year-old. He moved to Mackay three-and-a-half years ago and said his role in last season's A-grade decider was his greatest accomplishment.
"It was a great feeling to run out there, one I won't forget," he said.
Meadows was this week awarded the honour of officiating the biggest game of the Rugby League Mackay and District season for a second consecutive year.
Just as players and coaches will tell you the finals feeling is different, Meadows confirmed referees feel the same pressure to perform at the pinnacle moment.
"If you make the wrong decision and give the wrong team that trophy on grand final day, they won't be happy," he said.
"The hardest part is definitely the pressure we're put under, in every minute of the game.
"Every tackle we're making a decision as to what we have to do next ... I definitely empathise with the young and old fellas I gave it to back in Brisbane when I used to play."