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    SANZAR axes 'shocking' officials

    2015-05-18 16:01

    Cape Town - SANZAR Game Manager Lyndon Bray has acknowledged that refereeing standards in Super Rugby have not been up to standard.

    This past weekend was characterised by Australian referee Rohan Hoffmann’s questionable performance during the Waratahs’ 33-18 win over the Sharks in Sydney.

    Several calls appeared to go against the Sharks, and pundits were in agreement afterwards that Hoffmann had a “shocker”.

    Former All Black coach John Mitchell pointed out in the SuperSport studio post-match that Hoffmann's management of the tackle, ruck and offside line was woeful, and that he talks too much, while former Wallaby wing David Campese described his performance as a “joke”.

    The Television Match Official for the game in Sydney - George Ayoub - also copped criticism. He made two crucial calls, disallowing a try by the Sharks’ S’bura Sithole, while awarding a contentious try to Waratahs wing Taqele Naiyaravoro, despite no clear evidence that the ball was grounded.

    Hoffmann was on Monday appointed as an assistant referee for the Force v Highlanders game in Perth this coming Saturday, while Ayoub got no game.

    Bray commented: "While we acknowledge that the match officials cannot get it right all of the time, there are some basic standards that have simply not been upheld over this past weekend, resulting in some disappointing decisions and selection consequences.

    "A thorough and robust system is in place whereby the development and performance of each match official is reviewed by SANZAR and its member unions on a daily basis and like any athlete participating in elite competition, our referees are accountable to performance levels for the competition.

    "Appointments are made weekly based on performance reviews from the previous round but also includes an evaluation of the current form of each official over the term of the competition.

    "We have completed our reviews from the weekend and have followed strong internal processes as we prepare our team to reach their physical, mental and technical peaks as we head into the critical last four rounds of the regular season and Super Rugby finals series.

    "Public confidence in match officials is essential to the ongoing success of our product and we will continue striving to enhance the quality and accountability of refereeing across all SANZAR competitions."

    Round 15 Super Rugby referee appointments:

    Friday, May 22

    Chiefs v Bulls, Rotorua - 09:35

    Referee - Chris Pollock

    AR1 - Glen Jackson

    AR2 - Aki Aso

    TMO - Glenn Newman

    Reds v Sharks, Brisbane - 11:40

    Referee - Angus Gardner

    AR1 - Matt O'Brien

    AR2 - Damien Mitchelmore

    TMO - Peter Marshall

    Saturday, May 23

    Blues v Hurricanes, Auckland - 09:35

    Referee - Nick Briant

    AR1 - Ben O'Keeffe

    AR2 - Aki Aso

    TMO - Aaron Paterson

    Waratahs v Crusaders, Sydney - 11:40

    Referee - Marius van der Westhuizen

    AR1 - James Leckie

    AR2 - Michael Hogan

    TMO - Peter Marshall

    Force v Highlanders, Perth - 13:45

    Referee - Andrew Lees

    AR1 - Rohan Hoffmann

    AR2 - Graham Cooper

    TMO - Ian Smith

    Cheetahs v Lions, Bloemfontein - 17:05

    Referee - Jaco van Heerden

    AR1 - Jaco Peyper

    AR2 - Lourens van der Merwe

    TMO - Marius Jonker

    Stormers v Rebels, Cape Town - 19:10

    Referee - Stuart Berry

    AR1 - Quinton Immelman

    AR2 - Rodney Boneparte

    TMO - Deon van Blommestein

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