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Referees

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WhistleSANZAR has announced the names of the Match Officials for Round 10 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

There will be 7 games on the weekend and the Emirates Lions is the only side to sit out on a BYE weekend.

There will be only 1 game on Friday 17 April but a full 6 games on Saturday 18 April.

The weekend action is kicked off by Nick Briant is the Friday game between the Crusaders and Chiefs in Christchurch at 09:35 SA Time.

On Saturday at 06:30 SA Time Glen Jackson will be in charge of the game in Wellington between the unbeaten Hurricanes and the Waratahs, followed at 09:35 SA Time by Chris Pollock who will officiate the game between the Highlanders and Blues in Dunedin.

From there we move over to Australia where Andrew Gardiner is in charge of the whistle between the Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels in Canberra at 11:40 SA Time, followed by the game between the Western Force and DHL stormers in perth at 13:45 SA Time, where Mike Fraser will preside.

2 Games are played in South Africa on Saturday, the 1st of which will be the derby between the Cell C Sharks and Vodacom Bulls at 17:05 SA Time in Durban, where Jaco Peyper will be in charge. In the last match of the Round, at 19:10 SA Time, the Toyota Cheetahs host the Reds and the match will be handled by Jaco van Heerden in Bloemfontein.

Hopefully dicipline amongst players and match officials improves this weekend and we do not have to witness a dearth of Cards, citings and suspensions!

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André Watson

André Watson

Some members of the South African Rugby Referees Association (SARRA) are at loggerheads with SARU’s manager of referees, André Watson, and this has now come to a head at a meeting  with an independent arbitrator.

The result is that there was a hearing on Thursday and Friday of last week involving the arbitrator and members of the SARRA, including Watson and other members of the SARRA’s staff and panel referees. At the heart of the matter is the unhappiness of some SARRA members with Watson’s management over the 11 years that he has been in office.

There is as yet no official outcome to the meetings but the meetings are likely to be resumed at some stage this week and perhaps run over into next week.

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SANZAR under the magnifying glassSANZAR has tactfully sidestepped the latest attack on their integrity, telling South African Rugby Union President Oregan Hoskins to “follow the proper channels” if he has grievances.

Hoskins, in a report published in a weekend newspaper, launched a scathing attack on SANZAR, the organisation that controls Southern Hemisphere competitions – Super Rugby and the Rugby championship.

The SARU boss took aim at what he regards as “the inconsistency of recent rulings at disciplinary tribunals” and also targeted SANZAR Chief Executive Greg Peters.

However, the SANZAR boss remained mum on the matter.

Instead a spokesperson said Hoskins is welcome to contact them to raise his concerns.

“Hoskins is aware of the correct channels to air his concerns,” a SANZAR spokesperson said.

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Oregan Hoskins

Oregan Hoskins

South African Rugby Union President Oregan Hoskins has spoken out strongly against the inconsistency of recent rulings at disciplinary tribunals.

Hoskins is incensed by what he believes to be the unfair handling of cases involving South African players – compared with their New Zealand and Australian counterparts.

He referred to the recent harsh bans handed to Sharks players Bismarck du Plessis (4 weeks), Frans Steyn (5 weeks) and Jean Deysel (7 weeks) – while similar offences by Kiwi and Aussie players received more lenient treatment.

“I didn’t intend to go to the media on this,” Hoskins said.

“But frankly, I’ve just had enough.

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Andre WatsonSouth African referees boss Andre Watson is in hot water after several officials voiced complaints against him.

According to reports, a list of grievances was signed by 24 officials. This led to Watson attending a disciplinary hearing.

Some of the grievances are believed to be: verbal abuse, victimisation, Watson’s abrasive management style and financial impropriety.

The newspaper says it was Watson’s fallout with senior referee Rasta Rasivhenge that galvanised the disenchanted. Watson allegedly told Rasivhenge last year: “I’ll f**k you up, I’ll destroy you.”

Rasivhenge has since left South Africa to pursue a refereeing career in Australia.

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Michael Cheika & Jaco Peyper in hot water

Michael Cheika & Jaco Peyper in hot water

SANZAR confirmed that it received a formal complaint in regard to the alleged conduct of Waratahs head coach, Michael Cheika, following the Waratahs vs Blues match played at Allianz Stadium on Saturday 28 March.

After undertaking a thorough investigation, including receiving statements from all parties involved, it was determined that Mr Cheika had approached the match referee, Jaco Peyper, in front of the other match officials to seek clarification on a scrum interpretation during the halftime break of the Waratahs vs Blues match.

In a short and polite exchange that took place in the referee’s change room, Mr Peyper responded to Mr Cheika’s request for clarification. No other issues were discussed. Both Mr Cheika and Mr Peyper have subsequently acknowledged this exchange should not have taken place and apologised.

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WhistleWorld Rugby has announced the 12-member panel that will referee at Rugby World Cup 2015 as well as the 7 Assistant Referees and 4 Television Match Officials who will also officiate in matches at the game’s showcase tournament, which starts on 18 September 2015.

France will provide 3 referees in the form of Jérôme Garcès, Romain Poite and Pascal Gauzere. New Zealand, South Africa, England and Ireland will provide 2 each with 1 from the Welsh Rugby Union.

The Rugby World Cup runs from 18 September to 31 October 2015.

There will be 48 matches in the tournament.

The selection was made after a comprehensive review of refereeing performances by the World Rugby Match Official Selection Committee.

Chairman of the selection panel John Jeffrey said: “I want to congratulate all 12 Referees, the 7 AR’s and 4 TMO’s, who through very hard work and determination, have made it onto the panel for this year’s Rugby World Cup.

The individual match appointments will be announced in due course.

 

The full list of Referees with their union and number of tests in brackets is:

  • Wayne Barnes (RFU, 57)
  • George Clancy (IRFU, 38)
  • JP Doyle (RFU, 12)
  • Jérôme Garcès (FFR, 22)
  • Pascal Gauzere (FFR, 17)
  • Glen Jackson (NZR, 10)
  • Craig Joubert (SARU, 55)
  • John Lacey (IRFU, 13)
  • Nigel Owens (WRU, 60)
  • Jaco Peyper (SARU, 20)
  • Romain Poite (FFR, 39)
  • Chris Pollock (NZR, 18)

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Rugby-TalkIt’s PUB NIGHT again…

The heading suggests we talk about the Sharks… err I mean about Red Cards & Suspensions in Super Rugby, after a weekend where only 1 South African side recorded a win in Super Rugby and I think that does not qualify as a good weekend of rugby!

Unfortunately the DHL Stormers and Toyota Cheetahs let South Africans down overseas… and the Bulls went down to the Lions, but worst of all was the Sharks who got hammered at home by the Crusaders, sis on you muppits!

This next weekend, Super Rugby will continue, 1 game on Friday and 5 games on Saturday.

I guess this makes for a few good discussions!

It is time to straddle a bar stool and order a drink or 2.

Let’s focus on the PUB tonight…. the idea with PUB NIGHT is to lighten up our dull Tuesday evenings with music, comedy and fun.

Rugby takes a backseat tonight as the clan and fellow rugby nutters gather and wheel in their old friends…

Read the rules below carefully, or you WILL get burnt!

Just for clarity sake, when someone does not adhere to the Rules of the PUB, EVERYBODY jumps on them and pummels them, right… understood?

 

Here’s how it works:

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WhistleSANZAR has announced the names of the Match Officials for Round 9 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

The Chiefs, Hurricanes & Melbourne Rebels each have a BYE weekend this weekend.

There will only be 6 Super Rugby games on the weekend, 1 game on Friday and 5 games on Saturday.

Andrew Lees kicks of the weekend’s action when he blows the game between the Blues and Brumbies in Auckland on Friday. Due to Daylight Savings time changes, the game is at 09:35 SA Time (not 08:35 as in the first number of Rounds).

On Saturday morning at 09:35 SA Time it is the Crusaders vs Highlanders in Christchurch, where Glen Jackson will be in charge. Then it is the turn of the Waratahs vs DHL Stormers at 11:40 SA Time, where Mike Fraser will blow the whistle.

At 13:45 SA Time it will be the Western Force vs Toyota Cheetahs in Perth, where Rohan Hoffmann will be in charge of proceedings.

The South African based games for the weekend are the games between the Emirates Lions vs Cell C Sharks in Johannesburg at 17:05 SA Time, controlled by Stuart Berry, as well as the Vodacom Bulls vs Reds game in Pretoria at 19:10 SA Time, where Jaco Peyper will be in charge.

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Jean Deysel receives his marching orders

Jean Deysel receives his marching orders

The SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Nicholas Davidson QC has accepted a guilty plea from Jean Deysel of the Sharks for contravening Law 10.4 (a) Punching or striking, after he was sent off following a Super Rugby match at the weekend.

Deysel has been suspended from all forms of the game for 7 weeks up to and including Saturday 23 May 2015.

The incident occurred in the 42nd minute of the match between the Sharks and Crusaders played at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban on 4 April 2015.

SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Nicholas Davidson QC assessed the case.

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Jean Deysel receives his marching orders

Jean Deysel receives his marching orders

Cell C Sharks flank Jean Deysel has been cited after receiving a Red Card against the Crusaders on Saturday, as the Sharks prepare to again tussle with SANZAR.

Deysel is alleged to have contravened Law 10.4 (a) Punching or striking, in an incident that occurred in the 42nd minute of the match between the Sharks and Crusaders at Kings Park in Durban.

The Crusaders ran out comfortable 52 / 10 winners.

The case is to be considered in the first instance by SANZAR judicial officer Nicholas Davidson QC.

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James Horwill

James Horwill

The SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Nicholas Davidson QC has accepted a guilty plea from James Horwill of the Reds for contravening Law 10.4 (a) Punching or striking, after he was sent off in a Super Rugby match at the weekend.

Horwill has been suspended from all forms of the game for one week up to and including 11 April 2015.

The incident occurred in the 21st minute of the match between the Rebels and Reds at AAMI Park in Melbourne on 3 April 2015.

SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Nicholas Davidson QC assessed the case.

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WhistleWith 7 Rounds of this years Super Rugby competition completed and much discussion in the various media regarding disciplinary hearings, we thought it would be interesting to look at the players’ records so far in conceding penalties.

The scrums have become an absolute lottery and so it is no surprise that front rowers will be giving away many penalties while loose forwards can also tend to ‘live life on the edge’. However, what is surprising, according to the stats, is that as many as 6 props names appear in the Top 10 list of serial transgressors thus far this season.

2 Players who have been discussed quite a lot lately, Bismarck du Plessis and Liam Messam also appear on the list, which is disappointing considering they are the captains of their teams. Perhaps it is no surprise then that the match between the Sharks and Chiefs turned out to be such a nasty affair. Interestingly though a 3rd player who has been discussed over and over again, Francois Steyn, is not in this Top 10.

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Francois Steyn

Francois Steyn

SANZAR, the controlling body for Southern Hemisphere rugby, moved swiftly to defuse the storm that erupted in the wake of Springbok Francois Steyn’s 5-week ban.

A SANZAR appeals committee – chaired by Terry Willis (Australia), who was assisted by Nigel Hampton (New Zealand) and Robert Stelzner (South Africa) – slapped the ban on the Sharks utility back after a hearing earlier this week.

Steyn, who was Red-Carded for his lifting tackle on Aaron Cruden in the Sharks’ 12 / 11 win over the Chiefs on 21 March, was cleared by South African judicial officer Jannie Lubbe at the original hearing on 23 Match. He also expunged Steyn’s Red Card.

However, SANZAR felt strongly about the message sent out by the result of the original hearing and appealed.

That hearing, which took place on Tuesday this week, found Steyn guilty and suspended him up to, and including 3 May.

In reaction to the fall-out to their appeal and subsequent ban of Steyn, SANZAR said they felt Lubbe made a ‘clear error of fact and law’.

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Francois Steyn

Francois Steyn

The SANZAR Appeal against the Ruling of the Judicial Officer in the Francois Steyn case, was heard on Tuesday and the Appeals Committee, chaired by Terry Willis (Australia) and comprising Nigel Hampton QC (New Zealand) and Robert Stelzner SC (South Africa), has ruled in favour of SANZAR, setting aside the verdict of the judicial hearing which cleared Francois Steyn of a lifting tackle and which expunged the Red Card.

The Appeals Committee unanimously upheld the appeal brought by SANZAR and found that Steyn breached Law 10.4 (j) and that the referee was correct to Red Card the player during the match between the Cell C Sharks and the Chiefs played at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban on Saturday 21 March 2015.

The Committee determined that the relevant sanction was 4 matches. After taking into consideration the Sharks’ bye in Round 11, Steyn was suspended from all forms of the game up to and including 3 May 2015.

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WhistleSANZAR has announced the names of the Match Officials appointed for Round 8 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

The Western Force, Highlanders and Waratahs have BYE weekends.

There are 2 games on Friday and 4 games on Saturday.

The weekend starts off on Friday at 08:35 SA Time, with the clanger between the Hurricanes vs DHL Stormers in Wellington, where Rohan Hoffmann will officiate.

In the other Friday match the 2 lowly ranked Australian sides, the Melbourne Rebels and Reds do battle in Melbourne at 10:40 SA Time, with Matt O’Brian wielding the whistle.

On Saturday the action kicks off with the Chiefs hosting the lowly Blues in Hamilton at 08:35 SA Time, with Mike Fraser at the helm, followed by the Brumbies against the battling Toyota Cheetahs in Canberra at 10:40 SA Time, where Ben O’Keeffe will be in control.

Later on Saturday sees 2 South African games with the Cell C Sharks vs Crusaders in Durban at 15:00 SA Time, blown by Marius van der Westhuizen, followed by the Jukskei derby between the Emirated Lions vs Vodacom Bulls in Johannesburg at 17:05 SA Time, officiated by Stuart Berry.

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Nick Mallett

Nick Mallett

Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett has noted that Crusaders flank Richie McCaw is getting caught out more by referees.

McCaw was penalised a few times in his side’s 31 / 19 Super Rugby defeat to the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday night.

Mallett analysed the game in the SuperSport studio afterwards.

He said: “Richie McCaw was penalised 3 or 4 times. He’s just getting caught by referees now for doing the things that he’s been doing so effectively over the last 5 to 10 years.

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Francois Steyn

Francois Steyn

The hearing date for SANZAR’s appeal against the decision to rescind Frans Steyn’s Red Card has been postponed until next week.

The Sharks centre was sent off after performing a tip-tackle on Chiefs flyhalf Aaron Cruden in their Super Rugby clash in Durban last Saturday.

Steyn was cited following the game, but was then found not guilty at a subsequent hearing, with the Red Card expunged from his record.

However, SANZAR felt justice was not served and appealed the decision on Wednesday.

The initial date for the appeal was set for Friday, but has now been extended until next Tuesday.

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Francois Steyn

Francois Steyn

SANZAR has lodged an appeal against the outcome of a judicial hearing held on Monday 23 March that found Francois Steyn of the Sharks not guilty of contravening Law 10.4 (j).

A SANZAR Appeals Committee, chaired by Terry Willis, with Nigel Hampton QC and Robert Stelzner SC as members, will hear the appeal via videoconference on Friday 27 March 2015 at 08:00 SA Time (17:00 AEDT, 19:00 NZ Time).

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WhistleSANZAR has announced the appointments of the Match Officials for Round 7 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

The Brumbies have a BYE weekend.

There are 7 Super Rugby games this weekend, 2 on Friday and 5 games on Saturday.

The weekend’s action is kicked off by Stuart Berry in the game between the Hurricans vs Melbourne Rebels at 08:35 SA Time. Thereafter also on Friday the Reds host the Emirates Lions at 11:00 SA Time, where Glen Jackson will be the man with the whistle.

On Saturday the action starts early, at 05:30 SA Time, when the Chiefs host the Toyota Cheetahs in Hamilton, controlled by Craig Joubert in the middle. Thereafter it is the Highlanders vs DHL Stormers in Dunedin at 08:35, where Rohan Hoffman will be in charge. Next up, at 10:40 SA Time in Sydney, the Waratahs host the Blues where Jaco Peyper will preside.

On Saturday afternoon and evening in South Africa, the Cell C Sharks host the Western Force in Durban at 17:05 SA Time, with Nick Briant in charge. The Last game of the weekend sees the Vodacom Bulls take on the Crusaders in Pretoria at 19:10 SA Time, where Angus Gardner will be the man in the middle.

Considering the shenannigans last weekend in the game between the Cell C Sharks and the Chiefs, where 3 Red cards were dished out and a further player cited after the game, here’s hoping that the Match Officials are impartial and sees themselves as facilitators of the game and not controllers and here’s hoping that player-dicipline is markedly better than in Round 6!

All we can and should ask for is even-handed application of the Laws and rules.

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Liam Messam

Liam Messam

Chiefs captain Liam Messam’s citing has been upheld after the charge was amended to an act contrary to good sportsmanship.

However, there has been no sanction placed on the All Black flank.

Messam was cited, along with teammate Hika Elliot, Sharks captain Bismarck du Plessis and centre Frans Steyn, after a spiteful game in Durban last weekend.

The Chiefs captain was cited after the match for tackling and gripping Sharks flank Renaldo Bothma around the neck in a ruck – the incident went unnoticed by the match officials on the day.

A SANZAR judicial hearing has found Messam guilty of contravening Law 10.4 (m) Acts contrary to good sportsmanship.

No sanction has been imposed on the player.

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The SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Adam Casselden has accepted a guilty plea from Bismarck du Plessis of the Sharks for contravening Law 10.4 (c) A player must not kick an opponent, after he was sent off following a Super Rugby match at the weekend.

Du Plessis has been suspended from all forms of the game for 4 weeks up to and including 18 April 2015.

The incident occurred in the 18th minute of the match between the Sharks and Chiefs played at Kings Park in Durban.

SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Adam Casselden assessed the case.

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Steve Walsh

Steve Walsh

The Australian Rugby Union today announced international referee Steve Walsh has retired from all forms of match officiating with immediate effect to pursue business interests outside of rugby.

The 43-year-old is a veteran of four Rugby World Cups. Walsh made his Super Rugby refereeing debut in 1997 and took charge of a Test match for the first time a year later when Argentina played France and has refereed 56 Tests, making him the 3rd most capped international referee of all-time.

Steve Walsh said: “I have lived my dream and I am truly grateful for every experience that I have had in rugby. It’s been an incredible journey.

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WhistleSANZAR has announced the Match Official appointments for Round 6 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

This weekend once again only sees 6 games in stead of the usual 7 games.

The Blues, Reds and DHL Stormers all have a BYE weekend.

There will be 2 games on Friday 20 March, 3 games on Saturday 21 March and 1 game on Sunday 22 March 2015.

The weekend’s action is kicked off by Ben O’Keeffe, when the Highlanders host the Hurricanes in Dunedin on Friday, 08:35 SA Time, whereafter Mike Fraser takes charge of the game between the Melbourne Rebels and the Emirates Lions at 10:40 SA Time, also on Friday.

On Saturday Andrew Lees will referee the game between the Crusaders and the Toyota Cheetahs at 08:35 SA Time, well before Nick Briant takes charge of the game between the Vodacom Bulls against the Western Force at 17:05 SA Time. At 19:10 SA Time on Saturday evening the Cell C Sharks take on the rampant Chiefs, refereed by Angus Gardner.

On Sunday we have one lone match between the Waratahs and Brumbies, where Craig Joubert will be in charge, at 07:05 SA Time.

3 Games are of particular interest this weekend, namely the derby between the giant killing Highlanders vs Hurricanes who is the only unbeaten side in 2015. Thereafter on Saturday evening, the Cell C Sharks are up against the Chiefs who is in superb nick and on Sunday we have the tasty Aussie derbie between the Waratahs and Brumbies.

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James Broadhurst

James Broadhurst

The SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Robert Stelzner SC has accepted a guilty plea from James Broadhurst of the Hurricanes for contravening Law 10.4 (a) Punching or striking, after he was cited following a Super Rugby match at the weekend.

Broadhurst has been suspended from all forms of the game for 1 week up to and including 20 March 2015.

The incident occurred in the 61st minute of the match between the Hurricanes and Blues played at FMG Stadium in Palmerston North on 13 March 2015.

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WhistleSANZAR has announced the Match Official appointments for Round 5 of the 2015 Super Rugby season, including Shaun Veldsman’s return to the TMO box in Cape Town after recovering from a recent knife attack.

The Action is started off by Glen Jackson in the match between the Hurricanes vs Blues and followed on Friday with Rohan Hoffmann officiating in the game between the Western Force vs Melbourne Rebels.

On Saturday, Nick Briant takes care of the Crusaders vs Emirates Lions clash, followed by Craig Joubert in the Highlanders vs Waratahs clash, followed by Andrew Lees in the Reds vs Brumbies clash. Later on Saturday Jaco Peyper is the Referee in the DHL Stormers vs Chiefs clash and the weekend is concluded with Chris Pollock officiating in the Toyota Cheetahs vs Cell C Sharks clash.

Hopefully we see some correct and cosistent officiating in Round 5 and no matches are adversely affected by dubious decisions by the officialdom.

There has been some seriously contentious decision-making by Referees, Assistant Referees and maybe even more worryingly so by the TMO’s in Super Rugby, the Varsity Cup and even the SIX Nations in 2015. Something will have to be done to bring more consistency between interpretations of match officials and to get fair results, failing which the game of Rugby Union will continue to suffer and lose part of it’s supporter base. Just this week I have spoken to 2 individuals who have indicated that they have lost all interest in rugby due to the nature of officiating!

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Rugby-TalkIt’s PUB NIGHT again… I have finally shaken off my lazy bones… for tonight!

The heading suggests we talk about Match Officials, Guide Dogs for the blind… and how inept decisions are ruining our beautiful game, but keep it tidy boys or yerrrr might be “Fetching” some Yellow Cards… from this TMO… hahahaha!

Yesterday, during Round 5 of the Varsity Cup, I was absolutely flabbergasted and quite frankly livid about the inept handling of the 1st game between Maties and UJ. Clearly TMO Shaun Veldsman’s recent unfortunate incident where he was attacked and knived somewhere on the N2 (under some strange circumstances, it would appear) has not cleared up his bad eyesight and in fact it might have worsened his case of “selective viewing syndrome”, because he awarded a try to Maties after the scrorer… wait I HAVE TO put that in inverted commas… “SCORER” had fallen short, stretched out, planted the ball way short of the tryline and then proceeded to roll the ball at least half a full revolution forward to get to the line! How THAT could have been construed as a try, is beyond me!

Not even an all-seeing Guide Dog for the blind will save old Veldtie from his fate…

It’s also not as if Maties needed the Match official intervention and they were bound to score a try anyway, with the rugby they were dishing up at the time!

The things is, although this was only Varsity Cup rugby, it was being officiated by seasoned referees and match officials, not you local brand of “Affie-plaas 1-eyed, brandy-guzzling biased numbnuts”.

Officiating like this gets my goat, it mars the game we love and it turns a fair contest into a circus!

It is time to play fair in the PUB tonight, the FIRST PUB NIGHT of March 2015.

Let’s focus on the PUB tonight…. the idea with PUB NIGHT is to lighten up our dull Tuesday evenings with music, comedy and fun.

Rugby takes a backseat tonight as the clan and fellow rugby nutters gather and wheel in their old friends…

Read the rules below carefully, or you WILL get burnt!

Just for clarity sake, when someone does not adhere to the Rules of the PUB, EVERYBODY jumps on them and pummels them, right… understood?

 

Here’s how it works:

Continue reading

WhistleSANZAR has announced the Match Official appointments for Round 4 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

This weekend there are only 6 games (and not the usual 7), with 2 games on Friday 6 March and 4 games on Saturday 7 March 2015.

The Round starts with the Chiefs against the Highlanders in Hamilton, followed by the Brumbies against the Western Force in Canberra.

On Saturday the Blues host the touring Emiratas Lions before the Reds tackle the Waratahs in Brisbane and then later in the day there are the 2 exciting South African derbies, that between the Toyota Cheetahs against the Vodacom Bulls, followed by the game between the DHL Stormers and Cell C Sharks at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town.

The Crusaders, Hurricanes and Melbourne Rebels have BYE weekends this week.

From a competition point of view, there are only 4 teams still undefeated in 2015, namely the Chiefs, Hurricanes (on a BYE this weekend), the Toyota Cheetahs and the DHL Stormers. The question now is whether the 3 teams out of these 4 winning sides, who play this weekend, can keep the momentum up this Round in Hamilton, Bloemfontein and Cape Town – all home games for them?

The second question is whether the Match Officials will be better than in the opening 3 Rounds, or whether we will once again see some disputable decisions which have a material influence on the outcome of the games? Match Officiating has been particularly tardy, inconsistent and infuriating at the start of Super Rugby this year.

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WhistleRound 3 of Super Rugby 2015 sees 3 matches on Friday and 4 matches on Saturday.

The Round starts off with the Highlanders up against the Reds in Dunedin and the Round finishes with the local derby between the high-flying DHL Stormers against the Emirates Lions in Johannesburg.

SANZAR has announced the Match Officials for Round 3 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

  • Chris Pollock was not considered for selection after sustaining a minor injury during his pre-game preparation last Saturday. He will be given another week to return to full fitness.
  • Jaco van Heerden is set to make his Super Rugby debut refereeing the Vodacom Bulls vs Cell C Sharks match. A law graduate and Advocate to the High Court of South Africa, Van Heerden played rugby for his university before later turning his attention to refereeing. The 32-year old handled himself with aplomb in his first Currie Cup match during the 2014 season and it was no surprise that he was awarded a Semi-Final later in the year.
  • Our thoughts and best wishes are extended to Shaun Veldsman and his family after the TMO was assaulted and stabbed in his vehicle following last week’s match between the Stormers and the Blues in Cape Town. We wish him all the very best for a speedy recovery.

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Guinness Pro12Round 15 of the Guinness PRO12 started on Friday night and concluded on Sunday with the position at the top the same as when the Round started, with Glasgow Warriors still looking down on the other 11 from the pinnacle of the table. However, they have increased their lead and are now 4 points ahead of 2nd placed Ulster.

There could have been no greater difference in emotions experienced after the matches than that between Newport Dragons captain Rynard ‘Ligtoring’ Landman and Munster’s flyer JJ Hanrahan. Landman would have been feeling low and filled with nervous anticipation following his Red Card for elbowing Connacht’s flyhalf Jack Carty early in their match. JJ Hanrahan on the other hand would have been feeling on top of the world following his very late try which earned Munster a draw against Llanelli Scarlets.

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Shaun Veldsman

Shaun Veldsman

South African Television Match Official (TMO) Shaun Veldsman was assaulted in his car after officiating Saturday’s Super Rugby match between the Stormers and Blues at Newlands.

According to reports, Veldsman was attacked in his ‘bakkie’ on the N2 after leaving the stadium.

The incident occurred at about 21:00, with Veldsman on his way to Robertson. He was stabbed in his lung.

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Finn Russell

Finn Russell

Finn Russell, the Scotland outside half, appeared today before an independent Six Nations Disciplinary Committee at Heathrow, having been cited under Law 10.4 (e) and (i) for an alleged dangerous tackle of an opponent in the air in the 31st minute of the RBS 6 Nations match between Scotland and Wales on Sunday 15 February 2015.

The Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Mike Hamlin (England) along with Jean-Philippe Lachaume (France) and Pat Barriscale (Ireland), having heard from the player and his representative and viewed various TV angles of the incident, determined that Finn Russell had committed an act of foul play which merited a Red Card rather than the on-field Yellow Card given by the Match Officials.

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WhistleSANZAR has announced Match Official appointments for Round 2 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

On Friday we have 3 matches, with the Chiefs hosting the Brumbies, the Melbourne Rebels hosting the Waratahs and the Vodacom Bulls hosting the Hurricanes.

On Saturday we have 4 matches, with the Highlanders kicking off their season after an early BYE weekend against the Crusaders, the Reds against the Western Force and followed by 2 games in South Africa, the one between the DHL Stormers against the Blues and the Cell C Sharks against the Emirates Lions.

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Scotland (10) 23 / 26 (16) WalesScotland

Where do we begin in analysing a game full of movement, liberally spiced with controversy, which ended with Wales the victors at BT Murrayfield, thus extending their unbeaten record against Scotland to 8 games?

Scotland, who contributed so much to the contest, remain pointless in the RBS 6 Nations Championship as Wales bounced back from their opening round defeat by England.

Scotland will now welcome Italy to BT Murrayfield at the end of this month, which captain Greig Laidlaw cites as a “massive” game.

“We’re getting better as a team, becoming stronger but we need to get a result,” he said.

“Small margins,” has been the mantra in international rugby for many a year but we saw it so painfully from a Scottish perspective this afternoon.

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WhistleNick Briant will officially get the 2015 Super Rugby season underway in Christchurch when he takes the whistle for the Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels clash on 13 February.

Angus Gardner will oversee the Brumbies vs Reds which follows immediately afterwards in Canberra, with the Australian duo of Rohan Hoffmann and Andrew Lees sharing duties in South Africa for the Emirates Lions vs Hurricanes and Cell C Sharks vs Toyota Cheetahs matches.

The highly-experienced Chris Pollock and Jaco Peyper get the whistle for much-anticipated Round 1 derbies in Auckland and Pretoria respectively with new additions to the 2015 squad, Ben O’Keeffe and Jaco van Heerden assisting on the line in those matches.

Finally, Steve Walsh will be in the middle as the Waratahs get their title defence underway at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium against the Western Force on Sunday 15 February.

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Rugby-Talk Super Rugby 2015

Pool Name: Rugby-Talk Super Rugby 2015

Pool Code: muffrein

Rule: You HAVE TO BE REGISTERED (as a Subscriber here on www.rugby-talk.com) to be eligible for acceptance in the Rugby-Talk pools on SuperBru.

The Pool is now CLOSED for new Applications.

Rugby-Talk Varsity Cup 2015

Pool Name: Rugby-Talk Varsity Cup 2015

Pool Code: ionsetna

Rule: You HAVE TO BE REGISTERED (as a Subscriber here on www.rugby-talk.com) to be eligible for acceptance in the Rugby-Talk pools on SuperBru.

The Pool is now CLOSED for new Applications.


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