Weekend referees 25-28 May

Andrew Brace, IRFU

It’s Thursday, so here are your weekend referees from around the world. First up in Super Rugby round 14 action this week will be Australian Gus Gardner who takes charge of the all-Kiwi clash in Auckland between the Blues and Chiefs. Ben O’Keeffe is looking after the Trans-Tasman clash match in Dunedin between the Highlanders and Waratahs on Saturday night, while Jaco Peyper will take charge of the all-SA match between the Sharks and Stormers in Durban.

As we reported earlier in the week, JP Doyle and Nigel Owens oversee the major UK finals, and Ireland’s Andrew Brace (pictured) will continue his journey into the international arena, overseeing the England v Barbarians fixture at Twickenham.  On Friday night, John Lacey will blow the match which will decide if Northampton Saints or Stade Francais will take the final berth in the 2018 European Champions Cup draw.

Over in the far east, the Asia Rugby Championship is back after a short break, and Taku Otsuki takes charge of the Korea v Hong Kong tie up.


Asia Rugby Championship

Korea v Hong Kong
Referee: Taku Otsuki (Jpn)
ARs: Noriaki Hashimoto (Jpn) & Teruhisa Kajiwara (Jpn)
Assessor: Shin-ichi Iwashita (Jpn)


England v Barbarians
Referee: Andy Brace (Ire)
ARs: Marius Mitrea (Ita) & Ben Whitehouse (Wal)
TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ire)

European Champions Cup – Play-off Final

Northampton Saints v Stade Francais
Referee: John Lacey (Ire)
ARs: George Clancy (Ire) & Nigel Correll (Ire)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ire)

Super Rugby, Round 14

Blues v Chiefs
Referee: Angus Gardner (Aus)
ARs: Nick Briant (NZ) & Angus Mabey (NZ)
TMO: Glenn Newman (NZ)

Reds v Force
Referee: Brendon Pickerill (NZ)
ARs: Rohan Hoffmann (Aus) & Jordan Way (Aus)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Aus)

Sunwolves v Cheetahs
Referee: Will Houston (Aus)
ARs: Shuhei Kubo (Jpn) & Akihisa Aso (Jpn)
TMO: Minoru Fuji (Jpn)

Highlanders v Waratahs
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (NZ)
ARs: James Doleman (NZ) & Cam Stone (NZ)
TMO: Shane McDermott (NZ)

Rebels v Crusaders
Referee: Glen Jackson (NZ)
ARs: Paul Williams (NZ) & Damon Murphy (Aus)
TMO: George Ayoub (Aus)

Bulls v Hurricanes
Referee: Egon Seconds (SA)
ARs: Quinton Immelman (SA) & Jaco Pretorius (SA)
TMO: Christie du Preez (SA)

Sharks v Stormers
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (SA)
ARs: AJ Jacobs (SA) & Archie Sehlako (SA)
TMO: Marius Jonker (SA)

Jaguares v Brumbies
Referee: Mike Fraser (NZ)
ARs: Federico Anselmi (Arg) & Jose Covasi (Arg)
TMO: Santiago Borsani (Arg)

Lions v Kings 
Referee: Jaco Peyper (SA)
ARs: Egon Seconds (SA), Ben Crouse (SA)
TMO: Christie du Preez (SA)

Aviva Premiership Final

Wasps v Exeter
Referee: JP Doyle
ARs: Matthew Carley & Luke Pearce
TMO: Rowan Kitt

Guinness PRO 12 Final

Munster v Scarlets
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wal)
ARs: David Wilkinson (Ire) & Ian Davies (Wal)
TMO: Neil Paterson (Sco)


  1. This is not a comment for publication but is addressed to the referees. A few referee decisions in the Waratahs V Highlanders game were once again troubling – serving to emphasise that the selection of local referees breaches the highly important adage “justice must not only be done but manifestly appear to be done” (which is does not when local refs are used).I feel a sense of futility in bringing this to your attention. My sense is that most of you have not had much exposure to a “justice culture”. But numerous spectators do have such a culture.
    There were a number of sloppy decisions by (the NZ referee) Mr O’Keefein this match – the cumulative effect of which may be argued to have broken the Waratahs and determined the match outcome. Whilst I am confident of my view in this respect (as an ex international and “student”of the game) those views were largely supported on Fox by Justin Marshall and the NZ Fox commentary team. One flagrant example was very poor indeed. When Mr O’Keefe found himself so poorly positioned as to cause Phipps to withhold his first preparation to pass to Foley and then to pass too late for Foley to avoid a knock down of his kick, it was clear that Mr O’Keefe should have had the acuity to blow a stoppage and award a scrum to the Waratahs (with suitable apologies to the Waratahs). This would certainly have happened had Phipps had the presence of mind to put a pass straight into the stomach of Mr O’Keefe. And it was a pity that O’Keefe was not given the lesson of having this happen. Instead… a highly dubious try was awarded – so dubious in fact that when the Waratahs scored a few instants later the Fox NZ team opined that it was “justice”. There was a number of borderline or incorrect decisions in this game and most of them clearly penalised the Waratahs. In my view you should run the tape and have a very hard look at the game – complete with listening to the NZ Fox commentary; and have the gumption to acknowledge the shortcomings after doing so. Angus Gardiner was overheard last week saying “I dont want this game too be about me” I felt that Mr O’Keefe was quite happy for this game to be about him. Which brings me to a much more important issue. Just what is the prime motive in the referees having a website all about themselves? In the end why should referees be any different from judges – better placed to do their job by being as low key and un-self-promoting as possible. Can you imagine a website for judges of the higher law courts in the Sanzar countries – so that they can talk about themselves. In line with the today’s culture I fear there may be quite a bit of self promotion in all this – in guise of educating the public.

    • We’ve had this discussion before – we don’t appoint the referees or have any influence over them. Sanzaar are happy with their neutrality point but Im sure would consider the views of such esteemed correspondents if you were to speak to them. Perhaps you’d need to work through a costings proposal as to how they would fund a completely neutral approach.

      As for your dig at this site, you are the one who keeps coming back and contributing (you are most welcome), so you must find it of some value – even if it is just to get things off your chest. We have many readers who come for different reasons – news, advice, guidance, learning. There’s nothing self promoting about it. If you don’t like it, Im sure there are other websites you could be visiting. We hope you continue to keep visiting and contributing to the debate.

Comments are closed.