SANZAR has confirmed the four referees who will control matches in the Super Rugby Finals Series over the next three weekends.
Lawrence and Pollock will referee the Finals Series Qualifiers this weekend – Lawrence taking charge of the Crusaders vs Sharks in Nelson on Saturday and Pollock refereeing the clash between the Blues and the Waratahs in Auckland on Friday.
Kaplan and Joubert will be in charge of the SemiFinals next weekend with Kaplan set to referee the Reds’ home tie in Brisbane and Joubert due to take the whistle for the Stormers home Semi-Final in Cape Town.
It has also been confirmed that Lawrence will referee the Super Rugby Final after the selectors determined that he had been the best performing referee throughout the competition.
SANZAR Game Manager, Lyndon Bray, said he was satisfied that the processes applied in 2011 had culminated in these four referees being selected for the Super Rugby Finals Series.
“After completing our ratings of the 16-strong SANZAR referees squad we canvassed the fifteen team coaches for their inputs,” said Bray.
“It was really pleasing that our selections were confirmed by the feedback received from the coaches. We took into consideration the form of each referee throughout the 21 weeks of competition, and then considered the best ‘fit’ for the Finals Series. We have decided to use those considered as our four best, determining that the referee who controls the Final should also referee a Qualifier to prevent him from having three successive weeks on the sidelines.”
As part of SANZAR’s detailed review and evaluation process, all team coaches were invited to rate their ‘top 5′ referees in the competition. These results were collated and taken into consideration when the Finals Series appointments were made.
“You like to think that by the time you get to the Finals, the decisions largely take care of themselves,” said Bray.
“The very comprehensive review process we follow each week, helps us to make our decisions logically and with a real confidence. However, there are always going to be referees who can consider themselves unlucky when it comes to selection.
“In terms of the four selected, I am delighted for each of them, as they have all worked incredibly hard to deliver the best possible outcomes for the teams and the game in this competition,” Bray said.
Super Rugby Semi-final Appointments
Saturday 2 July, Reds vs TBC in Brisbane, 19h40 (21h40 NZ/11h40 SA)
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
AR 1: Stuart Dickinson
AR 2: James Leckie
TMO: George Ayoub
Saturday 2 July, Stormers vs TBC in Cape Town, 17h05 (01h05 Aus/03h05 NZ)
Referee: Craig Joubert
AR 1: Marius Jonker
AR 2: Stefan Breytenbach
TMO: Shaun Veldsman