This article appeared in the Zebra Match Program
What another great year for Leinster Rugby Referees. It is great to get the Christmas and New Year celebrations over and done with for another year and get back into some refereeing, although some of our referees have been in action over the festive period. We’re half way through our 2016/17 season and already a number of new referees have passed their trials and embarked on a new refereeing career. Our organization is continually growing learning and improving and we look forward to 2017, and delivering more top quality referees and assessors to Leinster and the world.
None of this would be possible without the hard work and leadership of our executive committee, the management and sub-committees especially President David MacDonald, Mark Power, Simon Owens, Denis Collins and of course the area representatives – Graeme Douglas, Brendan Conroy, John Dunne, Simon Porter and Thomas Keating among others.
Champions Cup Zebre vs Wasps @ Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland) Assistant Referees: Frank Murphy (Ireland), Jonny Erskine (Ireland) TMO: Kevin Beggs (Ireland) Clermont vs Exeter @ Stade Marcel Michelin Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland) Assistant Referees: Dudley Phillips (Ireland), Kieran Barry (Ireland) TMO:...
This article appeared in the Ulster Match Day Program
So what is it like starting out as a referee? Learning to referee rugby games is largely a trial by fire process. On the field there is only one referee (although there may be a few on the sidelines), that referee cannot change a decision once made, and no-one else can help you (although they can complain.)
To start, you need a whistle obviously, a watch, a law book, a few cards red and yellow in colour, a thick skin, and a love for the game of rugby. You’d be surprised how often referees forget things like whistles and cards running on to the pitch. You get caught up trying to get everything else right and forget the minor, import details. The law book should be read and then enforced more than the traffic laws in Dublin, but less than the traffic laws in Germany. A love for the game of rugby gets one through times that one’s skin is not sufficiently thick. The first place a referee will try using a whistle and a new understanding of the game from having actually read the law book (which most of us never did while we were playing), is during a club practice. Learning how to watch the game as a referee; find ways to stay close to, but out of the way of, play; get used to blowing a whistle and starting play are important aspects of growing into refereeing. In Leinster we start referees off with underage, youth’s games. It gives them a feel for the game at a slower pace with often more obedient subjects, although the sidelines can be the hardest bit to overcome.
This article appeared in the Northampton Saints match day program.
A warm welcome to Romain Poite and his team of Tual Trainini, Mathieu Noirot and Eric Briquet-Campin today. The Champions and Challenge Cup back to back weekend is one of the best fortnights of rugby in the year and also one of the busiest times for our referees. This weekend sees John Carvill in Glasgow assisting George Clancy, whilst Brian MacNeice is in the TMO box in Bordeaux. Dudley Phillips, Helen O’Reilly and Kevin Beggs are in Stade Francias whilst Gary Conway is in Newcastle. Good luck to them all.
The IRFU’s Referees Department will place a renewed focus on existing foul play laws to remove illegal and dangerous collision based contact from domestic competitions in Ireland.
The areas of focus centre on foul play at the tackle, the breakdown and off-the-ball contact. These offences will be upgraded to penalties and yellow or red cards depending on the severity of the incident.
The aim of this initiative is to soften the impact of the tackle and ruck or maul entry by removing shoulder first or shoulder only contact. i.e. shoulder charging with no attempt or a late attempt to wrap arms upon contact. There will also be a renewed focus on protecting players in vulnerable or prone positions in rucks and mauls.
The law interpretations will be enforced in all competitions from U13 age grade through to the Ulster Bank League. Under the umbrella of the Ref SMART programme a series of instruction videos have been produced to inform coaches and players of the illegal actions that will be clamped down on this season. These videos are available online at www.irishrugby.ie/rugbysmart.