World Rugby has announced the match official appointments for the RBS 6 Nations 2016, which gets underway in February.
Appointments were made by the World Rugby Match Official Selection Committee at its recent meeting in London and follow a detailed review of all performances during Rugby World Cup 2015.
The championship opener between France and Italy on Saturday 6 February in Paris will be refereed by JP Doyle of England with Welshman Nigel Owens taking charge of the last match, on Saturday 19 March between France and England at the same venue.
3 Referees – Jaco Peyper of South Africa, Glen Jackson of New Zealand and France’s Romain Poite – have received 2 appointments each with a total of 12 referees involved. Australian Angus Gardner will make his championship debut when he takes charge of the Ireland vs Italy match in Dublin on 12 March. The 31-year-old from Sydney, who was an Assistant Referee at Rugby World Cup 2015, refereed his 1st full international in 2011 and already has 5 Tests under his belt.
From the Rugby World Cup panel, Gardner replaces New Zealander Chris Pollock, whose retirement from international refereeing was announced earlier this week by New Zealand Rugby. In total, Pollock took charge of 22 Tests throughout his career.
As usual, the appointments for the 15 championship fixtures feature a blend of northern and southern hemisphere Match Officials. Several of the Assistant Referees being used for this year’s Six Nations are graduates of the 2013 and 2014 Rugby World Rugby Under 20 Championship.
New Zealand referee Chris Pollock has announced his retirement from international rugby.
According to reports, the 43-year-old Pollock has returned to full-time teaching in his home province of Hawke’s Bay.
Pollock was on the refereeing panel for the recent Rugby World Cup and his last match as an assistant in the Bronze Final between South Africa and Argentina.
Nigel Owens has been appointed to referee the final of Rugby World Cup 2015. The 44-year-old from Wales is a veteran of 67 Tests but on Saturday at 17:00 SA Time (16:00 UK Time) he will take charge of the biggest match of his career to date.
Owens will become just the 7th referee to do the job, following in the footsteps of Kerry Fitzgerald (1987), Derek Bevan (1991), Ed Morrison (1995), Andre Watson (1999 and 2003), Alain Rolland (2007) and Craig Joubert (2011).
His experience and his consistency over many years, as well as his excellent form during the build-up to and during Rugby World Cup 2015, has won him selection to the pinnacle match in the sport at the end of a tournament in which the high quality of officiating has been a feature.
Welshman Nigel Owens is favourite to be named as referee of the Rugby World Cup FINAL following the appointment of Frenchman Jerome Garces and England’s Wayne Barnes for the semifinals.
Owens, 44, was appointed an international referee in 2005 and officiated at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups. He took charge of this year’s quarterfinal between New Zealand and France.
The Match Officials have been confirmed for the semifinal stage of Rugby World Cup 2015 this weekend, with Jérôme Garcès and Wayne Barnes selected as Referees.
The 1st semifinal will take place at Twickenham Stadium between South Africa and New Zealand on Saturday (kick-off at 17:00 SA Time, 16:00 BST) with France’s Garcès in the middle. He will be joined on the line by compatriot Romain Poite and Ireland’s John Lacey, with George Ayoub of Australia being the Television Match Official.
The following day at the same venue, Argentina will take on Australia in the 2nd semifinal (kick-off 17:00 SA Time, 16:00 BST) and England’s Wayne Barnes will take charge. His Assistant Referees will be Jaco Peyper of South Africa and Ireland’s George Clancy. New Zealand’s Ben Skeen will be TMO.
One lesson the All Blacks have taken from the disputed Australia vs Scotland Rugby World Cup quarterfinal is that they cannot leave the outcome of their semifinal against South Africa to the referee.
“That showed us if the game’s tight at the end anything can happen,” All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said Monday.
And Foster expects a similar nail-biting finish when the All Blacks play arch-rivals South Africa on Saturday to decide who will go through to the final against Australia or Argentina.
After reviewing the controversial end to the Australia vs Scotland match, World Rugby said referee Craig Joubert was wrong when he awarded a last minute penalty that secured Australia’s 35 / 34 victory over Scotland.
Foster said it would be up to the All Blacks to avoid being put in the same situation even though he expected the match would be a close call.
A lot has been made about Scotland’s early exit from the Rugby World Cup under a cloud of anger about the way referee Craig Joubert refereed the match… specially that last penalty, which when converted ultimately sunk a very, very brave and deserving Scotland.
We raked the web for an article which takes all the emotion and anger out of the equation and gives probably the best clinical and sensible discussion on the matter.
At the time the game was played, I thought the penalty was justly awarded, whereas many thought it was’nt the case!
Well, let’s first off say, that last penalty and everything around it happened so quickly, that anybody who can now unequivocally say that they saw everything clear as day at the time it happened, is bullshitting everybody. Of course now all of us have had the luxury of hindsight and have had repeated and even more repeated replays of that insident at hand… and still the judgment call is not easy.
But, I digress… let’s have a look at the ARTICLE I dug up… Paul Dobson the Author…
Then after that, have a good look at World Rugby’s Statement on the Match official’s performance review (Australia vs Scotland), it is right at the end of the article!
Rasta Rasivhenge will referee his 1st ABSA Currie Cup Final between the Xerox Golden Lions and DHL Western Province on Saturday in Johannesburg, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) confirmed on Monday.
Kick-Off time at Emirates Airline Park, the home of the Golden Lions, is at 13:45 SA Time. The match will be televised live on SuperSport 1, while the broadcaster will also show the finals of the Under 19A and Under 21A competitions live on SuperSport 2.
Sindile Ngcese will be in charge of the Under 19A final between Eastern Province and the Blue Bulls (09:30 SA Time), while his SARU colleague Cwengile Jadezweni will officiate the Under 21A decider between Western Province and the Free State Cheetahs (11:15 SA Time).
Rasivhenge will be assisted by Stuart Berry and Jason Jaftha on the sidelines, while Marius Jonker will perform the TMO duties.
Ross Ford and Jonny Gray (Scotland) are free to resume playing with immediate effect after successfully appealing against their 3-week suspension for acts of foul play contrary to Law 10.4(j) (dangerous tackles).
The appeal took place today at the London offices of the official law firm for Rugby World Cup 2015 Clifford Chance and was heard by an Appeal Committee, chaired by the Honourable Justice Lex Mpati (South Africa), sitting with Justice Graeme Mew (Canada) and Robbie Deans (New Zealand).
Having conducted a detailed review of all the evidence, including new submissions from the players and their representatives, along with all available camera angles, the Appeal Committee dismissed the finding that the players had committed an act of foul play as the player had not been dropped or driven and therefore the tackle was not dangerous.
Here’s a quick summary of the Diciplinary Sanctions imposed on cited players of remaining Quarterfinal Countries – Argentina, Ireland and Scotland – following the weekend’s last Pool Stage games in the Rugby World Cup of 2015.
- Marcelo Bosch of Argentina is suspended for 1 week, for a dangerous tackle
- Sean O’Brien of Ireland is suspended for 1 week, for striking a player
- Ross Ford of Scotland is suspended for 3 weeks, for his participation in a dangerous tip takle against Samoa
- Jonny Gray of Scotland is suspended for 3 weeks, for his participation in a dangerous tip takle against Samoa
Rugby World Cup organisers have announced that Wayne Barnes, Nigel Owens, Jérôme Garcès and Craig Joubert will referee the Rugby World Cup 2015 quarterfinals this weekend.
England’s Wayne Barnes will take charge of the 1st match on Saturday between South Africa and Wales at Twickenham Stadium, London (Kick-Off 17:00 SA Time, 16:00 UK Time, 15:00 GMT) and will be joined by Assistant Referees George Clancy (Ireland) and JP Doyle (England) with the Television Match Official being Graham Hughes, also of England.
Later the same day, New Zealand take on France at the Millennium Stadium (Kick-Off 21:00 SA & French Time, 20:00 UK Time, 19:00 GMT) in a repeat of the Rugby World Cup 2011 final, with Nigel Owens of Wales refereeing the game at his union’s home ground. On the line will be Jaco Peyper of South Africa and John Lacey of Ireland while the Television Match Official will be South Africa’s Shaun Veldsman.
The 3rd quarterfinal between Ireland and Argentina in Cardiff (Kick-Off 14:00 SA Time, 13:00 UK Time, 12:00 GMT) on Sunday will be refereed by Jérôme Garcès of France with his countryman, Romain Poite, and New Zealand’s Chris Pollock as Assistant Referees. George Ayoub (Australia) will be the Television Match Official.
The final match of the stage will take place at Twickenham on Sunday (Kick-Off 17:00 SA Time, 16:00 UK Time, 15:00 GMT) between Australia and Scotland and will be refereed by Craig Joubert (South Africa). He will be assisted by Glen Jackson (New Zealand) and Pascal Gauzere (France) with Ben Skeen (New Zealand) the Television Match Official.
Ireland flanker Seán O’Brien and Argentina centre Marcelo Bosch have been cited for alleged acts of foul play.
Ross Ford and Jonny Gray are in danger of missing Scotland’s Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against the Australian Wallabies, after both were cited on Monday.
1st Choice hooker Ford and lock Gray, who forms an effective partnership with older brother Richie, have been cited for a lifting tackle during Scotland’s thrilling 36 / 33 win over Samoa on Saturday.
Their hearing will take place in London on Tuesday morning and will be heard by English lawyer Christopher Quinlan.
Romanian captain Mihai Macovei will miss his country’s pivotal final Pool D match with Italy on Sunday after being suspended for a fortnight for a dangerous tackle.
The 28-year-old loose forward was hailed as a hero earlier in the week for his 2 tries in Romania’s superb comeback from 0 / 15 down to beat Canada 17 / 15 and set his team up for Sunday’s match where the winner will seal 3rd place and automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup.
However, he fell foul of the citing commissioner and has now been found guilty of a dangerous tackle during the Canada match.
“Mihai Macovei has been suspended for 2 weeks for a dangerous tackle contrary to Law 10(4)(e),” read the statement from the disciplinary commission.
World Rugby is investigating reports that England’s coaching staff made an illegal approach to match officials at halftime in their loss to Australia.
According to media reports 2 England coaches made the approach as the 2 teams left the field at Twickenham on Saturday, with England trailing 3 / 17. Head coach Stuart Lancaster was not among them however.
“World Rugby is investigating an alleged breach by the England coaching team of the match-day communications protocol between match officials and team members or union officials,” said a World Rugby statement.
“The protocol prohibits certain conduct on match days including coaches approaching match officials during a match or at halftime during a match,” the statement added.
Media reports have suggested that there is CCTV footage from the tunnel where the alleged incident took place.
Eastern Province Kings fullback Hansie Graaff was suspended for 1 match, after being found guilty of striking an opponent in their Currie Cup Premier Division clash against the Xerox Golden Lions in Johannesburg last Saturday.
As a result of the sanction he will miss the EP King’s next match against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in Port Elizabeth on Friday evening.
Referee Craig Joubert has made the cut with 3 fellow South Africans for the team of 12 match officials selected for the 2015 / 2016 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, World Rugby announced on Monday.
Joubert will link up with Ben Crouse, Rasta Rasivhenge and Marius van der Westhuizen and 8 new colleagues following the completion of Rugby World Cup 2015 and before the opening Round in Dubai. He will remain available for 15-a-side duty throughout the season.
Rasivhenge is also among the 10 officials who have been selected for the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, which will also kick off in the United Arab Emirates.
The desire from the world’s top 15s referees to be a part of the match officials’ team, heightens the already tough competition for places as excitement builds in anticipation of the 2016 Rio Olympics.
New Zealand referee Glen Jackson is set to make the history books this weekend, becoming the 1st New Zealander to both play and referee 100 first-class games.
Jackson will reach the significant milestone this coming Sunday August 16 when he takes charge of the Pumas vs Springbgoks match in Buenos Aires.
New Zealand Rugby General Manager – Neil Sorensen said this was a fantastic achievement for the former flyhalf who joined the New Zealand professional referees team in 2010.
3 Of South Africa’s leading referees have renewed their contracts with the South African Rugby Union (SARU) for a further 4 years, the organisation announced on Thursday.
Craig Joubert and Jaco Peyper, who will officiate at the Rugby World Cup in September and October, have signed contract extensions for a further 4 years, while Rasta Rasivhenge recently returned to South Africa from his sabbatical in Australia and has also signed on until 2019.
Plans to extend the contracts of a number of other leading referees are currently being examined.
SANZAR has named the match officials for the 3rd and last Round of the abbreviated Rugby Championship of 2015.
England’s Wayne Barnes will officiate in the championship decider in Sydney and he will be assisted by Nigel Owens and Frederico Anselmi as Assistant referees. Shaun Veldsman will do TMO duty.
Frenchman Romain Poite will referee the Springboks vs Los Pumas game in Durban and will be assited by JP Doyle and Marius Mitrea, with Ben Skeen doing the TMO duties.
Poite is well remembered among Springbok fans for the controvertial sending off of Bismarck du Plessis in a Test against the All Blacks 2 years ago.
Poite harshly and erroneously Yellow-Carded Du Plessis for a tackle on All Black flyhalf Dan Carter before later dishing out another Yellow (which automatically meant a Red Card) to the hooker as the Springboks went on to lose 29 / 15 at Eden Park in Auckland.
SANZAR has released the names of the Match Officials for Round 2 of The Rugby Championship.
Jerome Garces starts the action this weekend in Johannesburg when South Africa’s Springboks host the All Blacks from New Zealand.
In the 2nd match of this Round, Argentina’s Los Pumas host the Wallabies from Australia in Mendoza and the referee is Jaco Peyper.
Last weekend Jaco Peyper was the referee for the Super Rugby Final, a brilliant match, brilliantly refereed.
This week Jaco is going from Wellington to Apia for the 1st ever match between Samoa and New Zealand in Samoa. The 1st match between the 2 countries was in Auckland in 1993.
There is great excitement for the match in Samoa.
This month international matches start to pick up as The Rugby Championship starts in SANZAR territories and countries have the Rugby World Cup in mind.
In Windhoek this week there is a match between Namibia and Russia as both countries look to September’s start to the World Cup.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) today confirmed the arbitration award that was issued by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to the effect that the employment of André Watson, the General Manager Referees, with SARU has been terminated.
At the beginning of this year, a number of people within the Referees’ Department lodged a grievance against Watson and SARU commissioned an independent investigation into the grievance.
As a result of the findings, the CCMA was requested to consider certain allegations relating to Watson. Contrary to some earlier reports, the allegations that were dealt with by the CCMA did not relate to racism, financial irregularities, misappropriation or match fixing but to the relationship between Watson and a number of people within the Referees’ Department and in turn the impact of such relationship on SARU.
The CCMA found that the allegations that had been levelled against Watson had been proved and as a consequence the CCMA found that the employment of Watson with SARU should be terminated. The CCMA’s finding is final and binding on SARU and Watson.
South Africa’s Jaco Peyper will have the honour of refereeing the opening match at Rugby World Cup 2015 in England as the hosts take on Fiji at Twickenham to kick off 44 days of unmissable rugby action.
Peyper, who is 35 and has refereed 20 internationals to date, has been appointed to the game on 18 September and he will be joined by assistant referees John Lacey of Ireland and Stuart Berry of South Africa while another South African, Shaun Veldsman, will be television match official.
With a further 7 matches taking place over the subsequent 2 days, there is no time for the match officials to ease their way into the tournament gently with no fewer than 22 of the 23 officials involved in some capacity that 1st weekend.
Jaco Peyper of South Africa has been appointed to referee the Final of Super Rugby 2015. He will thus be heading for Wellington, New Zealand for this great match.
When he heard of the appointment on Sunday, Peyper was understandably excited, as was André Watson, South Africa’s refereeing boss.
Peyper, a Bloemfontein lawyer, is no stranger to finals. On his way up the refereeing ladder, when he was doing mainly Under 19 matches, he refereed the provincial Under 19 Final. When he was further up the ladder, he refereed the Under 21 Final. Then higher still, he refereed the Vodacom Cup Final. Then in 2012 he refereed the Currie Cup Final and now the Super Rugby Final.
It is the 23rd Super Rugby Final since the 1st one in 1993. Of the 22 finals already refereed South African referees have refereed 14 – André Watson (5), Jonathan Kaplan (3), Craig Joubert (3) and Freek Burger, Tappe Henning and Mark Lawrence (1 each). Peyper will be the 6th South African referee to referee a Final.
Peyper is now on the way to being a vastly experienced referee – after 22 Tests, 60 Super Rugby matches and 55 Currie Cup matches.
Former rugby players, Monty Dumond, Egon Seconds, Jacques Nieuwenhuis and Mpho Matsaung will take to the field as referees in the Coca-Cola Academy Week at the Isak Steyl Stadium in Vanderbiljpark from 6 to 9 July.
Dumond played provincial rugby for the Sharks, Eastern Province, Griquas and Boland, while Seconds represented Western Province and Griquas; Matsaung and Nieuwenhuis played for the Valke. Nieuwenhuis also played international rugby for Namibia, which included appearances at the 2007 and 2011 Rugby World Cups in France and New Zealand.
Dumond and Nieuwenhuis also made their mark in the Cell C Community Cup, where Dumond represented GAP Management Despatch up until this year’s Easter Playoffs in Rustenburg, while Nieuwenhuis played for GS Metals Brakpan last season.
Scottish Rugby Referee Commissioner Tappe Henning has recently signed a permanent deal to continue the work he started at the tail end of 2013. Spending 5 minutes in his company is more than enough to suggest that the personable South African is really making a difference to a facet of rugby that he harbours a clear passion for.
Having brought through the likes of Craig Joubert, who officiated in the 2011 World Cup final, Tappe’s reputation for spotting refereeing talent precedes him and now he wants to put Scotland back on the arbitrary map.
Tappe Henning said: “The real purpose of me coming to Scotland was to implement a high performance structure for referees so that we can train, educate and coach Scottish referees to Tier 1 Test level.
“The concerns were raised when there were no Scottish match officials at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and the situation has repeated itself now in 2015, which is worrying coming from a country which has always traditionally had a lot of them.
“In short, we needed a professional structure with support for referees in all aspects of it and getting pathways introduced to identify future referees to deliver top quality match officials for international rugby.”
Sanzar are investigating a new concept – a so-called “referees bunker” – to be implemented in Vodacom Super Rugby in the near future to try and cut down on television match official decisions that are both controversial and cause an unnecessary delay in the game.
Sanzar refereeing boss Lyndon Bray confirmed that he was investigating the use of such a system – which has been implemented in Australia’s NRL Rugby League system, whereby the television match official was not at the game. He would rather be in a “bunker” where he would have access to at least nine different angles of play, and able to control which angles to look at if a decision was to be taken. The bunker would be situated off site, and connected via technology, taking away the emotion of fans in front of the TMO box.
After the shocking TMO decision that robbed the Vodacom Bulls of a try last weekend against the Rebels, and several other controversial decisions over the past few months, the sport’s guardians are looking for new and innovative ways to use technology better to aid the game and make a positive contribution.
“We all know that in today’s sport, technology is a critical aspect of the game & is going to remain so. None of us want to see errors when we use technology in sport & we all continue to work on the best technology to support the right decisions,” Bray said.
“Recently, I have been investigating options for how the TMO & / or referee receive the camera angles, in order to enhance the pictures they see & make decisions from. At the moment, we are fully under the control of the Broadcast feed & we are exploring options to help us “control the camera angles”. This can be done in a couple of different ways, but of course also comes at a potentially significant cost.
SANZAR has announced the names of the Match Officials for Round 18 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.
It is the last Round of the League Phases of Super Rugby in 2015.
This weekend sees 7 matches, 2 on Friday 12 June and 5 on Saturday 13 June 2015.
The weekend’s action is kicked off in Auckland on Friday at 09:35 SA Time, when Angus Gardner will referee the match between the Blues and Highlanders. Thereafter, also on Friday at 11:40 SA Time, the Melbourne Rebels host the Western Force in Melbourne, where Andrew Lees will be in charge of proceedings.
On Saturday the action starts early again, at 07:30 SA Time, when the Brumbies host the Crusaders in Canberra, with Jaco Peyper the referee in charge. We hop over to New Zealand again, to New Plymouth, where the Chiefs meet the Hurricanes at 09:35 SA Time, with Chris Pollock in control of the whistle.
Back over the pond to Australia, where the Waratahs host the Reds in Sydney at 11:40 SA Time, with Nick Briant the man in the middle.
Over to South Africa, where the Vodacom Bulls host the Toyota Cheetahs at 17:05 SA Time in Pretoria, with Craig Joubert to officiate the game. The last match of the weekend takes place in Durban at 19:10 SA Time, where Glen Jackson will officiate in the derby between the Cell C Sharks and DHL Stormers.
SANZAR has announced the names of the Match Officials for Round 17 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.
This weekend sees 7 matches in Super Rugby.
The Cell C Sharks have a BYE Weekend.
The weekend’s action is kicked off by Jaco Peyper in the Friday match between the Hurricanes vs Highlanders in Napier at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 17:35 AEST, 07:35 GMT), whereafter we have a little break before the Western Force host the Brumbies in Perth at 13:00 SA Time (19:00 AWST, 21:00 AEST, 23:00 NZ Time, 11:00 GMT), where Angus Gardner will officiate the game.
On Saturday the action starts earlier than normal when the Melbourne Rebels host the Vodacom Bulls in Melbourne at 07:30 SA Time (15:30 AEST, 17:30 NZ Time, 05:30 GMT), with Nick Briant the referee. We then go back accross the pond to New Zealand where the Blues play the Crusaders in Auckland at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 17:35 AEST, 07:35 GMT) and where Chris Pollock will be in charge of the whistle. Once again we cross the Tasman, back to Australia, where the Reds host the Chiefs in Brisbane where Mike Fraser wields the power, at 11:40 SA Time (19:40 AEST, 21:40 NZ Time, 09:40 GMT).
Over to South Africa and we have 2 matches on SA soil for the Round, first the Toyota Cheetahs play the Waratahs in Bloemfontein at 15:00 SA Time (13:00 GMT, 23:00 AEST, Sunday 01:00 NZ Time), with Glen Jackson in charge.
The last match of the Round takes place in Cape Town at 17:05 SA Time (15:05 GMT, Sunday 01:05 AEST, Sunday 03:05 NZ Time) when the DHL Stormers host the Emirates Lions and with Stuart Berry as referee.
SANZAR has named the Match Officials for Round 16 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.
This weekend sees 7 matches, with 3 matches on Friday 29 May and 4 matches on Saturday 30 May.
The Blues have a BYE Weekend.
The weekend’s action is kicked off by Ben O’Keeffe at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 17:35 AEST, 07:35 GMT) in the humdinger between the Crusaders and Hurricanes in Nelson. Also on Friday the Brumbies vs Vodacom Bulls match which takes place at 11:40 SA Time (19:40 AEST, 21:40 NZ Time, 09:40 GMT) in Canberra, is officiated by Marius van der Westhuizen. On Friday evening in Durban the Cell C Sharks host the Melbourne Rebels at 19:10 SA Time (17:10 GMT, Saturday 03:10 AEST, Saturday 05:10 NZ Time) and the match will be handled by Jaco van Heerden.
On Saturday the Highlanders host the Chiefs in Invercargill at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 17:35 AEST, 07:35 GMT) and the match is officiated by Nick Briant.
In Western Australia the Western Force is up against the Reds in Perth at 11:40 SA Time (17:40 AWST, 19:40 AEST, 21:40 NZ Time, 09:40 GMT) and the whistle will belong to Matt O’Brien.
Over to South Africa and 1st up on Saturday at 17:05 SA Time (15:05 GMT, Sunday 01:05 AEST, Sunday 03:05 NZ Time) it will be the DHL Stormers vs Toyota Cheetahs in Cape Town, where Craig Joubert will preside over proceedings.
The last game of the Round will take place in Johannesburg where the Emirates Lions host the Waratahs at 19:10 SA Time (17:10 GMT, Sunday 03:10 AEST, Sunday 05:10 NZ Time). Jaco Peyper will be the referee.
2 Waratahs players were cited and suspended after the niggly Waratahs display on the weekend in their match against the Crusaders. Will Skelton was suspended for 2 weeks and Tolu Latu for 4 weeks.
It appears that the Waratahs will appeal the findings of both Hearings.
A SANZAR Judicial Hearing has found Will Skelton of the Waratahs guilty of contravening Law 10.4 (j) Lifting Tackle, after he was cited following a Super Rugby match at the weekend. Skelton has been suspended for 2 weeks up to and including Saturday 6 June 2015.
The incident occurred in the 17th minute of the Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and Crusaders at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on 23 May 2015.
The SANZAR Judicial Hearing was held by Robert Stelzner SC via video conference at 15:30 AEST (17:30 NZ Time, 07:30 SA Time) on 25 May 2015. Mike Mika was the former professional player who attended as a Judicial Technical Adviser.
After a pivotal Round of fixtures played at high intensity, SANZAR has had the opportunity review each match and announce its Match Official appointments for the forthcoming weekend.
SANZAR Game Manager Lyndon Bray said, “While we acknowledge that the match officials cannot get it right all of the time, there are some basic standards that have simply not been upheld over this past weekend, resulting in some disappointing decisions and selection consequences.
“A thorough and robust system is in place whereby the development and performance of each match official is reviewed by SANZAR and its member unions on a daily basis and like any athlete participating in elite competition, our referees are accountable to performance levels for the competition.
“Appointments are made weekly based on performance reviews from the previous round but also includes an evaluation of the current form of each official over the term of the competition.
“We have completed our reviews from the weekend and have followed strong internal processes as we prepare our team to reach their physical, mental and technical peaks as we head into the critical last four rounds of the regular season and Super Rugby Finals Series.
“Public confidence in match officials is essential to the ongoing success of our product and we will continue striving to enhance the quality and accountability of refereeing across all SANZAR competitions.”
This next weekend’s Round 15 sees 7 matches, with 2 on Friday 22 May and 5 on Saturday 23 May.
The Brumbies have a BYE weekend.
Under-fire South African referees boss Andre Watson is set to hear his fate at a disciplinary hearing chaired by an independent arbitrator.
According to reports, the process is likely to be concluded on Wednesday.
Meetings were already held with Watson last month after complaints were laid against the former referee by members of the South African Rugby Referees Association (SARRA).
At the heart of the matter was the unhappiness of some SARRA members with Watson’s management over the 11 years that he has been in office.
Retired former Test referee Jonathan Kaplan has taken aim at officialdom he feels are sweeping under the carpet mistakes by under-performing match officials.
Writing in his weekly column on his website, RatetheRef, Kaplan was particularly scathing of Australian referee Angus Gardner, New Zealander Chris Pollock, along with TMO’s Ian Smith (Australia) and Aaron Paterson (New Zealand).
Despite describing Gardner as “one of the best so far this season, Kaplan did not hold back over his performance in the Rebels’ 42 / 22 win over the Blues in Melbourne last Friday.
He felt there was a “critical error” by Gardner at an “important juncture” in the game when he allowed a quick throw-in after the ball was handed to the thrower by the ball boy.
“The TMO (Smith) didn’t seem to be that interested in this misdemeanour either, and incredibly allowed the try even after a number of slomo replays,” Kaplan said.
“This cannot be good enough at this level! At any level.
“The public is being robbed of the contest.