Rugby: Joubert shares wisdom with aspiring refs

By Campbell Burnes

South African referee Craig Joubert. Photo / Getty Images
South African referee Craig Joubert. Photo / Getty Images

Craig Joubert has passed on some of his refereeing tips and experiences to Bay of Plenty match officials.

Fresh from taking control of the Hurricanes versus Chiefs blockbuster last Saturday night, the South African referee, who officiated the 2011 Rugby World Cup final, popped into the Bay of Plenty Rugby referees' Baywide meeting on Tuesday night and gave an inspirational 60-minute insight into the life of a professional referee.

In a one-on-one interview with Bay of Plenty Rugby Union referee manager Pat Rae, 38-year-old Joubert spoke about how he spends around six months of the year on the road refereeing at some of the finest rugby stadia in the world.

He enlightened the 50-plus audience about the pressures he faces through the immense public scrutiny and he had the audience in stitches when relaying a story about his Super Rugby debut in 2005.

Apparently, Joubert was getting plenty of assistance from the Brumbies players and when he tried to stamp his authority on the match by telling them that there were 15 referees on the field and too much talking, a wise-cracking George Gregan chipped in with one of the best comebacks: 'Yeah mate and you're not even in the top 10.'

Joubert had some sound advice for the younger referees in the room, which hopefully will inspire them to ensure that they never lose sight of why they started refereeing in the first place.

"It was great for Craig to give his time so freely to come and talk to us. No doubt he's one of the world's best referees and having him at our meeting was fantastic. It's like a local club rugby team getting Richie McCaw along to their training," said Rae.

Joubert will remain in the Bay until tomorrow before heading to Auckland to control the Blues match against the fast improving Rebels at Eden Park at the earlier time of 5.15pm.

Bay of Plenty referees Glen Jackson and Brett Johnson will assist him on the sidelines, while fellow Bay of Plenty referee Nick Briant heads to Invercargill to control the Highlanders match against the Brumbies immediately afterwards at 7.35pm.

- NZ Herald

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