Shayne Hayne and Ben Cummins have been retained as referees for State of Origin II despite their controversial efforts in Game I.

Referees Shayne Hayne and Ben Cummins have been retained for next Wednesday’s second State of Origin despite widespread criticism of their performance in the series opener.

The NSW camp were fuming over a number of decisions from both Hayne and Cummins at Suncorp Stadium last month, especially late in NSW’s 12-8 win, as Queensland constantly attacked the Blues’ goalline.

NSW enforcer Greg Bird even weighed into the debate on Tuesday, when he entered the Blues’ camp after the team for Game II was named, having missing Game I through suspension.

“A lot of calls went against us, a lot of calls which I thought weren’t 50/50, which probably should have gone our way but didn’t,” Bird said.

“But the boys hung on and showed a lot of grit and a lot of determination and kept working hard for each other which is what you want to do at this level.”

NSW coach Laurie Daley reportedly met referees’ boss Tony Archer after Origin I to discuss Hayne’s and Cummins’s controversial performances.

In a NRL statement released on Tuesday, Archer said he was “aware of conjecture about several calls late in the first Origin game at Suncorp Stadium” but felt Hayne and Cummins deserved another go.

“There is always a lot more scrutiny of every decision made at Origin level but I think Shayne and Ben handled the assignment well,” Archer said.

“They are our most-experienced referees at Origin level and, given the importance of the game, they are best placed to handle the match.”