SuperRugby quarter final referee, AR and TMO appointments

Here are the appointments for the last 8 round of the SuperRugby competition 2016:

Brumbies v Highlanders @ GIO Stadium, Canberra
Date: Friday 22 July 2016, Kick-Off: 18:00 local
Referee: Angus Gardner
AR1: Ben O’Keeffe
AR2: Nic Berry
TMO: George Ayoub

Hurricanes v Sharks @ Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Date: Saturday 23 July 2016, Kick-Off: 19:35 local
Referee: Glen Jackson
AR1: Mike Fraser
AR2: Paul Williams
TMO: Glenn Newman

Lions v Crusaders @ Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg
Date: Saturday 23 July 2016, Kick-Off: 16:30 local
Referee: Craig Joubert
AR1: Marius van der Westhuizen
AR2: Rasta Rasivhenge
TMO: Marius Jonker

Stormers v Chiefs @ DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Date: Saturday 23 July 2016, Kick-Off: 19:00 local
Referee: Jaco Peyper
AR1: Jaco van Heerden
AR2: AJ Jacobs
TMO: Johan Greeff


With these appointments, we also see the retirement of Chris Pollock from professional refereeing. Having joined the 200 club in the previous rounds, it was a fitting end to his illustrious career. We all, at, wish Chris a happy retirement from top level refereeing and hope he can still contribute to supporting referees in New Zealand and beyond.


  1. It would be helpful if the nationality of at least the presiding referee were indicated in your list of appointments. Not to do so comforts the impression that you do not want to enliven the debate about the problem of appointing refs of the same nationality as one of the teams in the match. I recently posted a commencement on the clash between these (same nationality) appointments and the adage that “justice must not only be done but manifestly appear to be done”. It is the suspicion of bias and not the fact of bias which is raised by this policy. Super 18 is far too valuable a product for it t be put at risk by such a controversial practice. I received no reply to my comment; and indeed what convincing reply can there be? If the Final happened to be between two teams from different countries (SA and NZ) It would probably be the case that SANZAAR would appoint a “neutral” referee. If it is done it for the final – out of a desire for the result to avoid any suspicion of a biased decision then what is the difference between a Super 18 match on any weekend of the comp and the Final?

    • The issue of neutral referees has been around for years and always brings comment from those who see bias, whether accurate or not.

      Clearly the SANZAAR powers that be are using what they believe to the ‘Best Ref for that game’ approach which is clearly a matter for them. Every game is assessed independently and appointments are awarded on merit.

      Remember, bias also comes from the spectator/reader. You may well be biased against a NZ referee just because you’re Australian (let’s say!).

      Thanks for the comments! Keep ’em coming.

      • Had you read my comment with care – and particularly my previous one – you would have understood that there is no hint of my accusing referees of bias.Indeed it is difficult for me to grasp that you do not seem to have taken on board a statement like this (above) “It is the suspicion of bias and not the fact of bias which is raised by this policy”. It is difficult not to get the sense that you are writing not from a position of representing referees but rather one of the countries involved; and after my wife and my experiences at matches in one of those countries I sens that I dont really have to guess which one. Where you to know me better you would know that I put in huge efforts to support that country – though contacting its top journalists and its Rugby Union – during the period when France had changed to a blue-black jersey for the 2007 WC. I can hardly be accused of bias and it is strident and chip-shouldered for an official to take that line (a little more careful research would have revealed that I spear-headed the stand against South Africa against my own Rugby Union many years ago – whilst still a player; a new book is abouyt to appear on the subject). Please think before you stand up and say again that I may be animated by bias. I am a lawyer;you are not. My light on the hill is the statement I have already twice made: “Justice must not only be done but manifestly be seen to be done”. I can tell you that many people think as I do and it is viewed as astonishing that SANZAAR does not understand the risk that it takes with a good product by going in the opposite direction. Let us read a more intelligent comment from you – and, please, the courage to sign your name (are you Lyndon Bray?) Please also note that I at least have the courage to sign with my own name. Do you?

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