Tue 31 Jul 2012 | 10:57

Referees in Super Finals

Referees in Super Finals
Tue 31 Jul 2012 | 10:57
Referees in Super Finals

It's the 20th Super Rugby Final this weekend and, for the second time, Steve Walsh is the referee.

Again this year, the appointment to the Final is on merit. The SANZAR men empowered with the choice have decided that Walsh is the best-performing referee in the Super 15 this year. (It may also be a factor that, as an Australian referee, his is the only country not involved in the Final.)

Earlier and for many years in Super Rugby referees did not referee in their own countries or in matches involving teams from their own countries.

The first-ever Super rugby Final was the Final of the Super 10 in 1993. Transvaal played Auckland in Johannesburg and the referee was Freek Burger of South Africa. After that (not because of that!) 'unattached' referees were used. That changed to 'merit appointments' in 2009 when Jonathan Kaplan of South Africa refereed the Final in South Africa between the South African Bulls and the New Zealand Chiefs.

Up till now the 19 Finals have been refereed by eleven referees.

At least because South African teams have so often been absent from Finals and the principle of appointing unattached referees applied, South Africans have refereed more Finals than referees from the other two countries – six of them for 12 matches.

New Zealand teams have been missing from five Finals. Their four referees have refereed six Finals. One of the Finals was when both Finalists were New Zealand teams and one when both Finalists were South African teams. One referee is of hybrid nationality. Steve Walsh was a New Zealand referee when he refereed his first Final in 2007 but is an Australian referee when he referees the 2012 Final.

Australian teams have been missing from eight Finals. One Australian has refereed a Final, when the Finalists were from New Zealand and South Africa. This year for the second time an Australia will referee the Final for the second time.

André Watson has refereed most Finals, followed by Paddy O'Brien. Both of them have retired as have Freek Burger, Glen Wahlstrom, Wayne Erickson and Tappe Henning. That means that the referees to have refereed a Final and remain active are Jonathan Kaplan, Mark Lawrence, Steve Walsh, Craig Joubert and Bryce Lawrence.

All the referees who have refereed Finals have been Test referees.

The referees, by number of appointments, have been:

5 – André Watson
3 – Paddy O'Brien, Jonathan Kaplan
2 – Steve Walsh
1 – Freek Burger, Glen Wahlstrom, Wayne Erickson, Tappe Henning, Mark Lawrence, Craig Joubert, Bryce Lawrence


Super 10

1993: Transvaal vs Queensland, 20-17 at Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Referee: Freek Burger (South Africa)

1994: Queensland vs Natal, 21-10 at Ballymore, Brisbane
Referee; Glen Wahlstrom (New Zealand)

1995: Queensland vs Transvaal, 30-16 at Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Referee: Paddy O'Brien (New Zealand)

Super 12

1996: Auckland vs Natal, 45-21 at Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Wayne Erickson (Australia)

1997: Auckland Blues vs ACT Brumbies, 23-7 at Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Tappe Henning (South Africa)

1998: Canterbury Crusaders vs Auckland Blues, 20-13 at Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Paddy O'Brien (New Zealand)

1999: Canterbury Crusaders vs Otago Highlanders, 24-19 at Carisbrook, Dunedin
Referee: André Watson (South Africa)

2000: Crusaders vs Brumbies, 20-19 at Bruce Stadium, Canberra
Referee: André Watson (South Africa)

2001: Brumbies vs Sharks, 30-6 at Bruce Stadium, Canberra
Referee: Paddy O'Brien (New Zealand)

2002: Crusaders vs Brumbies, 31-13 at Jade Stadium, Christchurch
Referee: André Watson (South Africa)

2003: Blues vs Crusaders, 21-17 at Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: André Watson (South Africa)

2004: Brumbies vs Crusaders, 47-38 at Canberra Stadium
Referee: André Watson (South Africa)

2005: Crusaders vs Waratahs, 35-25 at Jade Stadium, Christchurch
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)

Super 14

2006: Crusaders vs Hurricanes, 19-12 at Jade Stadium, Christchurch
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)

2007: Sharks vs Bulls, 20-19 at Absa Stadium, Durban
Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand)

2008: Crusaders vs Waratahs, 20-12 at AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)

2009: Bulls vs Chiefs, 61-17 at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)

2010: Bulls vs Stormers, 24-17 at Orlando Stadium, Soweto
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)

Super 15

2011: Reds vs Crusaders at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)

2012: Chiefs vs Sharks at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)

PV: 38

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