• ‘We got what we expected’

    Saru manager of referees André Watson is happy with the way the dual-referees experiment went during the opening round of the Varsity Cup.

    The trial sees each referee acting as the engaged official in their own half of the field, which is divided by an imaginary line from post to post, parallel to the sidelines.

    'I thought it went well, we got what we expected and there were no problems whatsoever,' Watson told SARugbymag.co.za. 'While there are still a few things we must refine, I'm very happy.'

    Watson said he had received no complaints from any of the referees regarding the system – 'like us, they are only interested in the correct outcome and on the day, they got most of the calls correct' – and added that the game was better controlled with two referees.

    'We had 10 tries in Cape Town, 10 in Port Elizabeth, seven in Bloemfontein and five in Pretoria. That's a lot of points, which tells me games are more free-flowing. Credit should go to the players for scoring them and to the refs for their control of the situation.'

    Watson said it was too early to make a definitive judgement on the experiment as well as the one that sees coloured grips on the props' jerseys.

    'We are still not exactly where we want to be with this, but it's all a work in progress and early indications are positive. The scrums did improve, but whether it's down the grip on the jersey I cannot say.'

    Two refs seem better than one, says Simon Borchardt

    How the dual-referees system works

    Photo: Varsity Cup

    Article written by

    Simon Borchardt