Bryce Lawrence of New Zealand will be refereeing the first Super 15 Final when the Reds of Queensland play the Crusaders of Canterbury at a sold-out Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday.
Lawrence has refereed 18 Tests and 173 first-class matches.
This will be his 50th Super Rugby match. It is his first Super Rugby Final though he has refereed semifinals before and a qualifying round match two weeks ago.
Of course, it's pleasing to be appointed to such a match and have the affirmation of those best qualified to judge a referee.
Lawrence says: "I was pleased to be appointed and to have the support of the referee selectors and the Super Rugby coaches (who all had input).
"It was a target of our New Zealand High Performance referee group to be in the 'finals mix' in 2011 and to have Chris Pollock and me refereeing a qualifying final and then to be appointed to the final was great for our New Zealand referees team and pleasing for us as individuals.
"As a team we had worked hard for 12 months to 'tweak' what we had been doing so to be recognised as improving and being some of the better refs in a Super Rugby panel consisting of more than 10 Test referees was a great result for New Zealand."
Then there is the matter of the World Cup later this year. Lawrence is the only New Zealand referee amongst the 10 referees chosen for the World Cup. That will be at home in New Zealand; this final is up the road in Brisbane.
It's not a long journey but it could be a long week for somebody waiting enthusiastically for the big day.
Lawrence talks about the journey and the week. "I arrive in Brisbane lunchtime Friday.
"I have had a very busy week in Tauranga this week with my two girls having parent/teacher conferences, school talent quests, wearable arts evenings. So the week has been full and gone quickly.
"While my family are all very supportive (and it's nice to have a few supporters in this game) you can see that it's life as normal.
"I haven't changed anything I do normally as far as preparation is concerned. I have trained twice with Glen Jackson [once a top player, now a top referee], completed another couple of sessions on my own and completed my own game plan.
"Today [Thursday] I'll get a sports massage and tomorrow I'll travel and have a rest day. Really it's just a normal week as per any other game."
Of course, it's not just another normal week. The final cannot be far from the mind.
"I am excited by the challenge and the match - two great sides against each other.
"I have a very experienced referee team around me [Stuart Dickinson, Vinny Munro and George Ayoub] and feel relaxed about what I can bring to the game. I have refereed each side three times this year, so know their styles well.
"I have refereed two Super Rugby semifinals in the past - when the Bulls defeated the Crusaders and when the Waratahs beat the Sharks. Both were really memorable games so I am expecting the same on Saturday in front of 52,000 fans at Suncorp."
Referees are close to players - physically and in their mental preparation for such a big occasion, their desire to give of their very best.
"I'll be doing my absolute best along with my referee team to contribute positively to the final. My aim is to deliver what I've done during the 2011 Super Rugby competition and to minimise the errors (there will be some but the aim is to not have any BIG ones), rule on the clear and obvious and stay composed. I look forward to the challenge.
"Big games, big occasions excite players - referees are no different."
All referees will wish Bryce Lawrence well and hope that it is the best match of his life so far.
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