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WhistleSANZAR 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.

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Tolu Latu

Tolu Latu

Will Skelton

Will Skelton

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.


Will Skelton:

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.

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WhistleAfter 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.

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André Watson

André Watson

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.

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Jonathan Kaplan

Jonathan Kaplan

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.

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WhistleSANZAR has announced the names of the Match Officials for for Round 14 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

3 Teams have BYE weekends, namely the Crusaders, Western Force and DHL Stormers.

There are 6 matches on the weekend, 2 on Friday 15 May and 4 on Saturday 16 May.

The action is kicked off in Auckland where the Blues host the Vodacom Bulls at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 07:35 GMT), officiated by Mike Fraser. Also on Friday at 11:40 SA Time (19:40 AEST, 09:40 GMT) the Reds host the Melbourne Rebels in Brisbane where the game will be controlled by Andrew Lees.

On Saturday first up it will be the Hurricanes vs Chiefs in Wellington, blown by Glen Jackson and the game starts at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 07:35 GMT). The match is followed by the clash between the Waratahs and Cell C Sharks in Sydney at 11:40 SA Time (19:40 AEST, 09:40 GMT), refereed by Rohan Hoffmann.

Later on Saturday in South Africa the Emirates Lions host the Brumbies in Johannesburg at 17:05 SA Time (15:05 GMT, Sunday 01:05 AEST) and the game will be handled by Jaco Peyper. The last game of the Round is in Bloemfontein at 19:10 SA Time (17:10 GMT, Sunday 05:10 NZ Time) where the Toyota Cheetahs host the Highlanders and the game will be blown by Stuart Berry.

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Stuart Dickinson

Stuart Dickinson

Rugby must enhance its laws governing aerial collisions, former elite referee Stuart Dickinson has argued.

Incidents such as that involving Scotland stand-off Finn Russell, who incurred a 2-week suspension for impeding Wales’ Dan Biggar in the air, have drawn intense scrutiny and debate.

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WhistleSANZAR has announced the names of the Match Officials for Round 12 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

There are once again 7 matches on the weekend, and only 1 team will on a BYE weekend, the Reds.

The Weekend sees 2 matches on Friday 1 May and 5 matches on Saturday 2 May.

On Friday referee Angus Gardner kicks off the action in the game between the Highlanders vs Cell C Sharks in Dunedin, at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 07:35 GMT), followed by the Brumbies vs Waratahs clash in Canberra at 11:40 SA Time (19:40 AEST, 09:40 GMT) which will be controlled by Glen Jackson.

On Saturday the action starts early, at 07:30 SA Time (17:30 NZ Time, 15:30 AEST, 13:30 AWST, 05:30 GMT), with Ben O’Keeffe at the helm in the game between the Blues vs Western force in Auckland. This is followed by another match in New Zealand, at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 07:35 GMT) with the Hurricanes hosting the Crusaders in Wellington, with Mike Fraser in charge of the whistle.

In Australia at 11:40 SA Time (19:40 AEST, 21:40 NZ Time, 09:40 GMT), referee Andrew Lees will officiate in the game between the Melbourne Rebels vs Chiefs, in Melbourne.

2 Mouthwatering derbies follow on South African soil, with the Toyota Cheetahs hosting the DHL Stormers in Bloemfontein at 17:05 SA Time (15:05 GMT), where Craig Joubert will be in charge of procedings, followed by the final Round 12 game in Protoria where the Vodacom Bulls host their trans-jukskei rivals, the Emirates Lions at 19:10 SA Time (17:10 GMT) with Marius van der Westhuizen will wield the whistle.

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James Broadhurst

James Broadhurst

James Broadhurst of the Hurricanes has been issued with a Citing Commissioner Warning for contravening Law 10.4 (g) Dangerous charging, during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.

The incident occurred in the 50th minute of the match between the Reds and Hurricanes played at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on 26 April 2015.

A Citing Commissioner Warning may be issued by the SANZAR Citing Commissioner for foul play incidents that are very close to, but in his opinion do not meet the red card threshold for citings.

Upon further review of the match footage the Citing Commissioner deemed a Citing Commissioner Warning was appropriate.

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WhistleSANZAR has names the Match Officials for Round 11 of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

The weekend sees 7 matches, with 2 on Friday, 4 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday.

The Cell C Sharks have a BYE weekend.

On Friday referee Angus Gardner starts off the action at 09:35 SA Time in the game between the Chiefs and Western Force in Hamilton. Also on Friday, in a 15 minutes delayed start due to Anzac Centenary Commemorative celebrations, the Brumbies host the Highlanders in Canberra at 11:55 SA Time, where Matt O’Brian will be in charge of matters.

On Saturday the Crusaders host the Blues at 09:35 SA Time in Christchurch and Chris Pollock will have the whistle. Thereafter, also 15 minutes delayed due to Anzac Day celebrations it is the turn of Rohan Hoffmann in the game between the Waratahs and Melbourne Rebels, at 11:55 SA Time, in Sydney.

Later in the day and in South Africa the Emirates Lions host the Toyota Cheetahs at 17:05 SA Time in Johannesburg, where Jaco van Heerden will preside. In a massive derby in Cape Town at 19:10 SA Time, Jaco Peyper will be in charge in the game between the DHL Stormers and Vodacom Bulls.

On Sunday at 08:05 SA Time, Nick Briant takes charge of the final game of the Round, between the Reds and Hurricanes in Brisbane.

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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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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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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

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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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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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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Jonathan Kaplan

Jonathan Kaplan

Prominent ex-Test referee Jonathan Kaplan has joined the chorus calling for scrutiny of the Crusaders scrumming action after their win over the Toyota Cheetahs last weekend.

The Crusaders scrum has dominated in their contests against both the Emirates Lions and Cheetahs in their 2 Vodacom Super Rugby games over the past fortnight, and in both cases it seems as if the scrum – and All Black prop Wyatt Crockett in particular – have gotten away with murder.

Crockett’s supposed dominance in the scrum has seen both Julian Redelinghuys and Coenie Oosthuizen, both Springbok props, being sin-binned during the game and a plethora of penalties given against their teams by referees who believe the tighthead can’t handle the pressure when the loosehead packs down.

But on a number of occasions – and ironically picked up by both former All Blacks Jeff Wilson and Justin Marshall – the scrum has never packed down straight.

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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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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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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:

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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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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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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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WhistleSANZAR has announced its referee squad for the forthcoming Super Rugby season with Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand) and Jaco van Heerden (South Africa) promoted and in line for debut during 2015.

O’Keeffe started refereeing whilst at medical school in Dunedin and quickly progressed through the ranks. He has featured in the Heartland Championship, ITM Cup, as a Super Rugby assistant and at the 2014 Junior World Championship where he earned appointment to the final between England and South Africa.

His father Peter also refereed at provincial level and when he’s not in the middle, O’Keeffe practices as an eye doctor in Wellington, New Zealand.

Pretoria-born Van Heerden meanwhile is an Advocate to the High Court of South Africa and joins Super Rugby ranks having made rapid progress applying law on rugby fields throughout his home country.

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.

A University of Pretoria Law Graduate, Van Heerden played rugby for his university before later turning his attention to refereeing.


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WhistleSuper Rugby starts in a month’s time with a match in Christchurch with Nick Briant to referee it.

SANZAR has released the names of the referees for the first three Rounds.

Briant referees the first match in New Zealand, Angus Garner the first in Australia and Rohan Hoffman the first in South Africa.

Jason Jaftha was injured for 2014 and his fitness needs to be assured for this year.

Marius van der Westhuizen will be refereeing his first Super Rugby match overseas after reaching Super Rugby last year.

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WhistleIt has been a year for referees much as any other year – a year of highs and lows where the best they can hope for is no complaints from players on the field and no complaints from watchers off the field.

Referee abuse remains a universal problem for referees. Glen Jackson, once a great player and now a great referee, said that there was a difference between playing and refereeing, for you could make 5 mistakes as a player and then get cheered for doing something well. In refereeing you are jeered for doing something perceived to be wrong and after that nothing that you do can rehabilitate you in the eyes of the beholders.

Much of the abuse is a repeat of what commentators have to say, regardless of whether what they say is wrong.

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WhistleSouth African referees Jaco Peyper, Craig Joubert, Stuart Berry and television match official (TMO) Shaun Veldsman will all officiate in the 2015 Six Nations competition, World Rugby has announced.

Peyper will take charge of the match between France and Wales on 28 February at Stade de France in Paris, while Joubert will officiate the clash between Ireland and England at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on 1 March, with Veldsman in the role of TMO.

Berry, meanwhile, was named as an assistant referee for the matches between Italy and Ireland at Stadio Olimpico in Rome on 7 February and Ireland and France in Dublin on 14 February respectively.

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Craig Joubert

Craig Joubert

South African referee Craig Joubert has scooped the prestigious Referees’ Referee of the Year award.

Joubert received the award at the annual course for top referees in South Africa, the SA Rugby Referees website reports.

Chairperson of the SA Rugby Referees’ Society, Steve Meintjes, made presentations to members who had achieved exceptionally.

The following awards were presented:

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Recent Comments

  • Scrumdown 27 May 2015, 15:43 SAST - Weren't the Aus commentators singing vd Westhuizen's praises during the game last week?
  • Scrumdown 27 May 2015, 15:40 SAST - 3 @ Hondo: I actually thought that Skelton was playing with a view to someone losing their rag and plastering...
  • Hondo 27 May 2015, 15:31 SAST - @ cane: 1 They got away with a Red, both so their confidence level is high (if indeed it was...
  • GoBokkeAndIreland 27 May 2015, 14:00 SAST - @ BrumbiesBoy: I also agree. I wonder why this is though? Because it seems to happen often. I think certain...
  • GoBokkeAndIreland 27 May 2015, 13:54 SAST - Oh FFS! I hope Wynand doesn't come back to SA . . . :Worry:
  • BrumbiesBoy 27 May 2015, 13:04 SAST - 3 @ cane: Well said Cane, I couldn't agree with you more. I find it extremely embarrasing and it goes...

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