Waikato Referees in Fiji for Deans Trophy Finals Day
This year Waikato had 4 referees selected to attend the Deans Trophy Finals day in Suva, Fiji. This is Fiji’s Secondary Schools Finals where teams have competed throughout the season against other schools across Fiji to play in what is a massive day of rugby.
New Zealand Rugby Referees were approached by Fiji Secondary School Rugby to provide a referee for the main U18 Final, Waikato’s Michael Winter was appointed to that fixture as a member NZ Referees Development Squad. Waikato were provided the opportunity to send over two Assistant Referee’s and a TMO alongside Michael. Damian Botherway, Aleni Feata & Aaron Paterson accompanied Michael over to Fiji for this historic occasion – the first finals refereed by international referees.
Our boys headed over on the Wednesday, travelling from Auckland to Nadi, then an internal flight over to Suva, arriving at their accommodation at 9.30pm. Thursday was spent travelling around and meeting key members from the Fijian Secondary School Rugby, with some time spent sightseeing around Suva. Friday it was arranged the our referees would go and meet the schools participating and have a chat about rugby in New Zealand, what referees are looking for during the match, and just a general chat to the local players. Friday lunch saw a press conference held at major sponsor Coca-Cola, where the U18 Captains attended, the Vice-President of the Secondary School Rugby Union and a sponsor representative from Coca-Cola and Michael attended his first press conference.
Saturday was game day, with games kicking off at 9am for the u14s, through to the main u18 final kicking off at 5.20pm. Earlier in the afternoon Waikato’s Damian Botherway controlled the U17 Final between Queen Victoria School and St Johns Cawaci, where the winner progresses to the Sanix World Rugby Youth Tournament hosted in Japan. QVS who currently do not have a school due to cyclone Winston were the winners in a close tight battle. The u18 final again saw Queen Victoria School, making their 5th final of the day, take on Marist Brothers High School in front of a sell-out ANZ Stadium Suva 20,000+ crowd. The match was tight throughout with the scores tied 18 all at the end of 70minutes. Five minutes of golden point followed with QVS kicking a penalty on full time to win 21-17.
In what was an amazing experience for all involved, Michael said it was “the most amazing atmosphere he has encountered as a referee, I could not hear the ARs or TMO on a couple occasions just due to the noise from the crowd”.
Moving forward Waikato Rugby Referees are looking to host a Fijian referee in 2017 during the Gwynne Shield week where we think it will be a great opportunity for one of their referees to gain some quality experience refereeing in New Zealand with some great coaching.
Final Appointments Announced for 2016 Club Rugby
Finals appointments were announced at the annual Referee Awards Evening this year held at the Cambridge Cosmopolitan Club. Trying to do something different from previous years, Graham Bowen - convenor of referee appointments announced the 2016 club finals referees. This season will see a number of referees referee in their first final in the Waikato.
Finals appointments are listed below:
Premier Final - Michael Winter (Hamilton RRA)
Premier B Final - Lee Jeffrey (Hamilton RRA)
Division 1 - Top 6 - Paul Head (Hamilton RRA)
Division 1 - Bottom 6 - Thinus du Preez (Cambridge RRA)
Division 1B - Top 6 - Campbell Thomas (Hamilton RRA)
Division 1B - Bottom 6 - Mike Gregan (North Waikato RRA)
Division 2 - Top 6 - Dave Fryer
Division 2 - Bottom 6 - John Hoyle (Hamilton RRA)
Under 85kg - Andrew Vercoe (Hamilton RRA)
Colts - Ben Woolerton (Hamilton RRA)
13th Grade - Ben Brownlie (Morrinsville/Matamata RRA)
2016 Waikato Referee Awards Evening
The Waikato Rugby Referees Association hosted their annual awards evening on Saturday 9th July out at the Cambridge Cosmopolitan Club. Heading into semi-finals and finals weekends the appointments officers announced those upcoming appointments followed by the major award winners (as listed below).
As part of our awards evening we acknowledge our members who had completed a significant amount of services to referees throughout their career. Recipients of these awards received their service award from New Zealand Rugby, recipients as per below:
Damian Botherway, Michael Robinson, Ryan Cox & Aaron Paterson
Peter Jones, Bill Heslop, Lee Jeffrey, Robin Hapi & Kevin Clarke
John Gould, Graham Bowen, Paul Jeffrey & Grant Cotterell
Frank Howard, Jonathon Brown, Brian Fisher, Frank Brownhill, John Willis & John Parker
Building from last year’s good turn out, we had 78 people attend our awards evening – an event we are looking to build on year to year.
Recipients of awards for 2016 are below:
Best First Year Referee – Greg New (Hamilton RRA)
Colin Gregan Memorial - Most Improved Referee – Jake O’Flaherty (Morrinsville/Matamata RRA)
President’s Award – Ryan Cox (Hamilton RRA)
Roy Gillies Memorial - Services to Refereeing – Kevin Clarke (Cambridge RRA)
AMI Insurance - Referee of the Year – Damian Botherway (North Waikato RRA)
WRRA REFEREES AT NATIONAL SEVENS
Waikato Rugby referees were well represented at the 2016 Bayleys National Sevens on the 16th & 17th of January, hosted at the Rotorua International Stadium.
Michael Winter was selected by NZR to be one of the six officials for the men’s competition. Jake O'Flaherty, Mike Gregan, Josh Bull, Ben Brownlie, Larissa Collingwood and Glenn Foote attended as assistant referees, sub-controllers and sideline managers across the men’s and women’s competition over the two days.
Larissa was appointed as an AR for the women’s championship final.
Being part of the team of 60 referees and officials was a great opportunity for WRRA Referees to be involved in a NZR high performance environment and a good chance to interact with some of New Zealand’s best sevens referees and referee coaches.
Host union Bay of Plenty did a fantastic job, arranging accommodation for our officials and were great support throughout the weekend.