Flaxmere Park will host rugby games this weekend for the first time in weeks - with club representatives, police and Maori wardens on hand to ensure safety of referees.

Hawke's Bay Rugby Referees Association chairman Brent Malone said his organisation's members have agreed to referee MAC games in Flaxmere again after a series of meetings involving the police, Maori wardens, club representatives, Hawke's Bay Rugby Football Union staff and representatives of the wider Flaxmere community.

Last month, Malone announced his referees wouldn't control MAC matches in Flaxmere as they had had enough of verbal abuse from players and spectators. At the time he said ground controllers appointed by the club couldn't handle the issue.

Yesterday, he said the club's representatives, police and wardens had agreed to take ownership of ground control.


"A strategy has been put in place and an agreement between the club, the union and our referees will be signed on Friday.

"This isn't a short-term measure and we applaud what the club is proposing in the agreement.

"It is the result of discussions over the last three or four weeks and we believe the strategy is a suitable one."

MAC Sports Association president and premier team co-coach Anthony Morley said his club identified there were areas within their ground controlling procedures which required fine tuning.

"We know appropriate behaviour is required at sporting events and we've come up with a robust strategy which will tick a lot of boxes.

"People will be able to come along and enjoy matches hosted by our club."

Morley pointed out it was important his club appointed the right people for ground control duties.

"Anything close to referee or player abuse will be dealt with in the appropriate manner.


"Our club members will go out of their way to tell supporters and family members what acceptable sideline behaviour is."

With all four senior teams at home on Saturday, MAC will treat the occasion as their club day.

"It's awesome to have our women's team at home playing a semifinal against Taradale.

"Our premier team believe we have a good shot of beating Taradale and if we can we will have a good chance of avoiding the promotion-relegation game," Morley said.

The referees five-week boycott of MAC fixtures in Flaxmere came after incidents in a May 21 premier match against Hastings Rugby and Sports.

Referee Carl Jowsey had water poured over him after two MAC players were red carded and another three yellow carded during their 39-12 loss.

In 2015 one of the Bay's top refs, Stu Catley, had a water bottle thrown at him after a Maddison Trophy first round encounter against Taradale.

In the reserve grade curtainraiser between the two clubs on the same day, which was called off, referee Jamie McFarland had a ball thrown at his head.