South Africas top referees have just completed a four-day training camp prior to the start of the 2012 rugby season.
This year’s rugby season will be challenging, and so the time was perfect for the referee workshop held near Rustenburg for the SA Referees on the SA Panel including the women referees. The four-day refresher will ensure greater consistency and accuracy in on-field decision-making.
‘As referees we’re committed to ensuring uniform application of the Laws across all of the rugby competitions in which we officiate,’ said SA Rugby general manager of referees André Watson. ‘We met in Sydney with our SANZAR partners in middle January and agreed on protocols for the coming season. While there are no Law changes to be implemented, it was a platform to review the highs and lows of last year and agree on common expectations for the coming year.’
Material covered at the SA Referees Camp at Konka included the outcomes of the SANZAR workshop together with the 2012 version of the BokSmart Rugby Safety Programme. Respected coaches Rudolph Straeuli and Rassie Erasmus took referees through examples of their pre-match preparations and also had the match officials running the same training drills used by many of the teams. Former Springbok scrum coach Balie Swart was also on hand to help demystify the intricacies of scrumming. He took the referees through a presentation on the technical side of things with live clips and then ended with a practical demonstration where the referee had to scrum.
‘Feedback from those attending – and it included referees with World Cup experience – was that the pre-season camp was one of the best of its kind they had yet experienced,’ said Watson. ‘In addition to the technical Law reviews and input from experienced coaches, they also underwent fitness testing, completed the updated BokSmart programme, participated in a motivational/self-analysis presentation and wrote the National Laws Exam. I’m confident that our Super and National Panel referees are now well prepared for the season ahead and I’m personally looking forward to the first blast of the whistle on opening day.’
The so-called ‘Big Five’ – tackle, scrum, offside, ruck, and maul – remain the priority areas as in previous years but with additional emphasis on the following points:
• Alignment – front rows must be in a position to interlock on engagement; there must be no touching of heads.
• Early engagement – both teams must start the engagement process simultaneously on the referee’s call.
• Engagement angles – front rows must push straight and parallel to the touchlines; loosehead props must not ‘walk’ the scrum around the tighthead.
• Binding – front rankers must bind on their opponent in the appropriate manner; no hands on the ground for support.
• Post-engagement infringements – illegal wheeling on purpose, so-called ‘whip wheeling’ and not pushing straight and parallel to the touchline are all actions to be penalised.
• The tackler must release and clear away after the tackler.
• The tackler assist must release and show clear and obvious release before going for the ball.
• Arriving players must not go past the ball into an offside position and try to obstruct the opposition going for the ball.
• Players must respect the offside lines at the ruck and maul (the hindmost foot of their player in the ruck or maul).
• Arriving players not attempting to clean-out the opposition must demonstrate positive actions to stay on their feet.
• A player who uses correct technique but ends up off his feet after removing a threat is not penalised; this is a positive action and the “hammer or snake” technique is included here.
Assistant Referees at Super Rugby will also be called on to take a more involved approach to the game without becoming an interference or hindrance to the referee. This will involve greater monitoring of offside lines at the ruck and maul and infringements close to the touchline where the referee may be unsighted.
There was also an exam at the course, based mainly on clips from, actual matches.
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.