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Kiwi poll reveals Super Rugby's 'worst' referee

SPOTLIGHT: New results from an anonymous poll conducted among current New Zealand Super Rugby stars has revealed who is the worst Super Rugby referee.


A 40-question survey conducted by NZME’s Sam Casey has offered an insight into the real opinions held by New Zealand’s Super Rugby players – from established All Blacks to professional rookies – about the state of the game nationwide.

Casey said he surveyed “over 100 players” from New Zealand’s five Super Rugby franchises, with the release of initial results on Monday causing a stir following the revelation that almost half of the poll’s participants disagreed with New Zealand Rugby’s decision to appoint Ian Foster as All Blacks head coach.

*Read: NZ players not happy with new All Blacks coach 

Forty-six percent of pollers, which included at least 15 players from each Super Rugby club, said they weren’t happy with Foster’s appointment.

Only 28 percent of players supported NZR’s decision to promote Foster from his position as Steve Hansen’s assistant, while a further 26 percent said they were “happy with Ian Foster but not the assistant coaches”.

With the results of 10 questions from the poll to be released each day this week, other interesting revelations found from Monday saw Beauden Barrett voted the best player in New Zealand with the backing of 40 percent of the nation’s players.

Barrett was also overwhelmingly voted the best first-five in the country with 58 percent of the vote, while Anton Lienert-Brown (66 percent), George Bridge (46 percent) and Damian McKenzie (47 percent) were regarded as New Zealand’s top midfielder, wing and fullback, respectively, by their peers.

Arguably the biggest talking point in the release of a further 10 results from the poll on Tuesday was that 44 percent of players voted Dane Coles as the “biggest grub” in the New Zealand game.


Brodie Retallick sat in a distant second with only 15 percent of the votes, while Jordie Barrett wasn’t far behind him with 13 percent of players voting for him.

Another intriguing aspect of Tuesday’s findings was that Australian official Angus Gardner was picked as the best referee in Super Rugby, receiving almost half of the players’ votes with 47 percent of the participants’ backing.

On the flip side of the equation, recently-retired referee Glen Jackson received 48 percent of the vote in the running for Super Rugby’s worst official.

Here is a full list of the poll results released so far:

Do you think NZR got it right with the new All Black coaching team?

No: 46 percent
Yes: 28 percent
Not assistants: 26 percent


Who is the best player in NZ rugby?

Beauden Barrett: 40 percent
Ardie Savea: 20 percent
Brodie Retallick: 12 percent
Eight others: 28 percent

Who is the best player 23 years of age or under in NZ rugby?

Jordie Barrett: 33 percent
Will Jordan: 22 percent
Luke Jacobson: 14 percent
Sevu Reece: 14 percent
Six others: 17 percent

Who is the best flyhalf in NZ rugby?

Beauden Barrett: 58 percent
Richie Mo’unga: 32 percent
Aaron Cruden: 9 percent
One other: 1 percent

Who is the best wing in NZ rugby?

George Bridge: 46 percent
Sevu Reece: 21 percent
Rieko Ioane: 13 percent
Ben Lam: 11 percent
Four others: 9 percent

Who is the best midfielder in NZ rugby?

Anton Lienert-Brown: 66 percent
Jack Goodhue: 21 percent
Ngani Laumape: 11 percent
Two others: 3 percent

Who is the best fullback in NZ rugby?

Damian McKenzie: 47 percent
Jordie Barrett: 25 percent
David Havili: 18 percent
Beauden Barrett: 10 percent

Two minutes to go, down 4, need to score a try. Whose hands do you want the ball in?

Damian McKenzie: 30 percent
Beauden Barrett: 24 percent
Richie Mo’unga: 10 percent
17 others: 46 percent

Who will be the next breakout star and make the All Blacks?

Cullen Grace: 17 percent
Hoskins Sotutu: 14 percent
Mark Telea: 12 percent
27 others: 53 percent

Who is the best professional coach you’ve had?

Tony Brown: 17 percent
Scott Robertson: 16 percent
Dave Rennie: 9 percent
Warren Gatland: 9 percent
Jason Holland: 9 percent
16 others: 40 percent

Who is the most respected player in NZ rugby?

Same Cane: 24 percent
Brodie Retallick: 17 percent
Dane Coles: 11 percent
Ardie Savea: 10 percent
10 others: 38 percent

Who is the biggest grub in the NZ game?

Dane Coles: 44 percent
Brodie Retallick: 15 percent
Jordie Barrett: 10 percent
Seven others: 32 percent

What player 25 years or under do you think will play 100 tests?

Anton Lienert-Brown: 40 percent
Jack Goodhue: 15 percent
Jordie Barrett: 13 percent
Eight others: 32 percent

Who is the best referee in Super Rugby?

Angus Gardner: 47 percent
Ben O’Keefe: 24 percent
Paul Williams: 22 percent
Three others: 8 percent

Who is the worst referee in Super Rugby?

Glen Jackson: 48 percent
Mike Fraser: 29 percent
Rasta Rasivhenge: 9 percent
Four others: 14 percent

What is the best ground to play at in NZ?

Forsyth Barr Stadium (Dunedin): 61 percent
FMG Stadium Waikato (Hamilton): 18 percent
Eden Park (Auckland): 8 percent
Five others: 13 percent

What is the worst ground to play at in NZ?

Central Energy Trust Arena (Palmerston North): 22 percent
Orangetheory Stadium (Christchurch): 20 percent
Sky Stadium (Wellington): 18 percent
Rugby Park (Invercargill): 15 percent
Four others: 25 percent

What player from another franchise would you sign at yours?

Scott Barrett: 28 percent
Beauden Barrett: 14 percent
Brodie Retallick: 10 percent
Ardie Savea: 10 percent
17 others: 38 percent

Who is the toughest player in NZ rugby?

Sam Cane: 44 percent
Brodie Retallick: 18 percent
Ardie Savea: 7 percent
11 others: 30 percent

Who is the hardest player to tackle in NZ rugby?

Ngani Laumape: 37 percent
Sevu Reece: 17 percent
Mark Telea: 9 percent
Ardie Savea: 9 percent
10 others: 28 percent


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