Lawrence up for top ref award

2011-11-10 13:25

Brenden Nel - SuperSport

Johannesburg - In a move that will stun many South African rugby fans, New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence has been nominated as his country’s Referee of the year.

Lawrence is one of three nominees for the award, which forms part of the Steinlager Rugby Awards to take place in Auckland on 1 December.

While the list of nominees is understandably overshadowed by the All Blacks and their Rugby World Cup victory, it was Lawrence’s nomination that will raise eyebrows in these parts, especially after his handling of the World Cup quarterfinal between the Springboks and Wallabies.

Many South African rugby fans were seething after Lawrence allowed Australia and in particular David Pocock free reign at the breakdown, and he was blamed for the Boks defeat and early exit from the competition in the quarters.

Lawrence is nominated for the award with former player Glen Jackson, who only hung up his boots two years ago and New Zealand’s top female referee Nicky Inwood, making him outright favourite to win the award.

Lawrence was also recently “rested” for six months by the IRB when the Six Nations refereeing appointments were announced and wasn’t involved in the Rugby World Cup semifinals and final, ostensibly because of his performance in the quarterfinal of the tournament.

Understandably the All Blacks are the dominant factor in the awards ceremony, with the victorious All Blacks team, individual stars of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2011 squad and winning coach Graham Henry dominating six of the 13 award categories.

In the main category, the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year will be hotly contested between All Black stars Ma’a Nonu and Jerome Kaino, both finalists in the IRB’s Player of the Year award, and captain Richie McCaw.

The RWC-winning All Blacks will face the biggest challenge for the adidas Team of the Year Award from Investec Super Rugby finalists the Crusaders, who played their entire season away from home after the devastation of the Canterbury earthquakes. Other nominees are ITM Cup champions Canterbury and the HSBC World Series champions the New Zealand Sevens team.

Graham Henry, who last week announced he was standing down as All Blacks coach after directing the side to their RWC victory and winning the IRB Coach of the Year title, is a nominee for the New Zealand Rugby Coach of the Year Award. He is joined by Sevens maestro Gordon Tietjens and four-time national provincial championship winning Canterbury coach Rob Penney.

Three members of the 2011 All Blacks also feature in the Investec Super Rugby Player of the Year. Blues captain and hooker Keven Mealamu, Highlanders loose forward Adam Thomson and Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett are all in contention.

All Blacks first five-eighth Aaron Cruden is up against Canterbury loose forward Nasi Manu and Taranaki openside flanker Scott Waldrom for ITM Cup Player of the Year. All Blacks general Piri Weepu faces stiff competition for the treasured Tom French Memorial Maori Player of the Year Award, from his All Blacks teammates Israel Dagg and Cory Jane.

The success of New Zealand’s national teams will also make the task of identifying the best Age Grade and Sevens Players of the Year a tough assignment. Under 20 World Champions Brad Shields and Sam Cane will be up against New Zealand Schools captain Ardie Savea for Age Grade Player of the Year.

Three members of the New Zealand side that won the HSBC Sevens World Series are in contention for the Richard Crawshaw Memorial Sevens Player of the Year Award. The three are powerful Waikato winger Tim Mikkelson, impressive young try scorer Declan O’Donnell and the team’s playmaker Tomasi Cama.

The judges for the 2011 Steinlager Rugby Awards are former All Blacks captain and former NZRU President Andy Leslie, NZRU Board member and former All Blacks captain Graham Mourie, SKY Sport rugby commentator Grant Nisbett and former All Black and current NZRU General Manager Community and Provincial Union Rugby Brent Anderson.

The 2011 Steinlager Rugby Awards nominees

NZRU Age Grade Player of the Year

  • Sam Cane (Bay of Plenty & New Zealand Under 20)

  • Ardie Savea (Wellington & New Zealand Schools)

  • Brad Shields (Wellington & New Zealand Under 20)

    Richard Crawshaw Memorial Sevens Player of the Year

  • Tomasi Cama (Manawatu)

  • Tim Mikkelson (Waikato)

  • Declan O’Donnell (Waikato)

    Referee of the Year Award

  • Nicky Inwood

  • Glen Jackson

  • Bryce Lawrence

    NZRU Women’s Player of the Year

  • Nominees to be announced closer to the awards

    Charles Monro Rugby Volunteer of the Year

  • Andy MacDonald (Canterbury)

  • Marty Martin (King Country)

  • Phil Monk (New Zealand Rugby Museum)

    Investec Super Player of the Year

  • Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders)

  • Keven Mealamu (Blues)

  • Adam Thomson (Highlanders)

    Tom French Memorial Maori Player of the Year

  • Israel Dagg, Ngati Kahungunu (Hawkes Bay, Crusaders, All Blacks)

  • Cory Jane, Ngati Kahungunu (Wellington, Hurricanes, All Blacks)

  • Piri Weepu, Whakatohea (Wellington, Hurricanes, All Blacks)

    Heartland Championship Player of the Year

  • Steelie Koro (Wanganui)

  • Jason Rickards (Mid Canterbury)

  • Jon Smyth (Wanganui)

    ITM Cup Player of the Year

  • Aaron Cruden (Manawatu)

  • Nasi Manu (Canterbury)

  • Scott Waldrom (Taranaki)

    adidas Team of the Year

  • All Blacks

  • Canterbury

  • Crusaders

  • New Zealand Sevens

    New Zealand Rugby Coach of the Year

  • Graham Henry (All Blacks)

  • Rob Penney (Canterbury)

  • Gordon Tietjens (New Zealand Sevens)

    Steinlager Salver for an Outstanding Contribution to New Zealand Rugby
    Recipient announced on the night

    Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year

  • Jerome Kaino (Auckland, Blues, All Blacks)

  • Richie McCaw (Canterbury, Crusaders, All Blacks)

  • Ma’a Nonu (Wellington, Hurricanes, All Blacks)
  • SuperSport

    • Michael - 2011-11-10 13:35

      Well, he was NZ's best ref, from an All Blacks perceptive!!!

        Blou - 2011-11-10 13:53

        For sure, if it wasn't for him, the All Blacks would have been eliminated in the semi-finals by the Boks.

        Rene - 2011-11-10 14:07

        Wow, here I was waiting for the clown to be suspended from ALL rugby!!! And now he is up for an award, once again the NZ's are making a mockery of the game! But then again BL should win since he single handedly eliminated the Bokke from the RWC2011, who were the only team standing between NZ and the trophy!!

        George - 2011-11-10 15:13

        He is the best ref i have ever seen. Fair and consistent. His problem was referring a match where SA old and tired players led by an uninspiring coach lost to a better team. Welldone ref.

        Alan - 2011-11-10 18:09

        Ha ha George, can you actually see?

        Shoosh - 2011-11-10 18:16

        OK folks the world cry baby champs have woken up for their next feed at the trough, will these idiotic SAFFA's ever get a good nights sleep? Face the facts boys & girls, the Boks have been crap for last few years so stop this imaginary scenario of them beating the All Blacks in the semi-final. The Boks are not Gods gift to rugby at present.

        Thomas - 2011-11-10 20:26

        It is payback for services rendered!!!!!!!!! Another way to look at it is that the bar was never really that high in the NZ Refs Association!!!!!!!! This is a direct "Sneer" to SA, but what they don't realise is "Experts" from all rugby playing nations pointed out that Lawrence was the poorest ref in the tournament!! They are still turning this WC into a Joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Alan - 2011-11-10 20:28

        Shoosh, you're probably right, but due to one righteous prick we'll never know.

        Kevin - 2011-11-11 07:06

        We won, you lost hahahahahaha we are the champs so suck it up you sour losers!!!

        Alan - 2011-11-11 13:23

        Yes, I agree, you did. The only possible way you could win it.

        Pieter - 2011-11-12 16:00

        One should always remember that New Zealand does not abound with good referees - in fact, one will have to dig deep to find any. Just look at whom he is competing with! Don't get mad at them, rather pity New Zealand because as far as referees are concerned they are a backward third world country!

        Nicholas.Spaggiari - 2011-11-19 13:22

        GOOD! It shows that the threats of violence, the hate and nastiness of the SA fans count for nothing. Little children, temper tantrums don't do anything.

    • Johnnie - 2011-11-10 13:36

      Makes sense he would be nominated for a Kiwi award. He ensured the Kiwi victory by eliminating the threat!

        Grant - 2011-11-10 13:43

        Eaxctly! Lawrence was integral to New Zealand's plans in winning the world cup, and he certainly delivered in that regard!

        Bob - 2011-11-10 20:07

        face the facts.........ALL BLACKS WORLD RUGBY CHAMPIONS 2011.........the proteas are the chokers of the tournament and no amount of crying can change that

        Norman - 2011-11-10 21:13

        what threat? SA was only a threat to themselves. too old, too uninspiring, too ignorant. you dont desreve to sniff that WE trophy!!

    • Johan - 2011-11-10 13:37

      I vote Nay !!

    • Bames - 2011-11-10 13:41

      How can this be, April fools is only next year???

    • Rob - 2011-11-10 13:44

      He did help the All Blacks win the RWC, so he must now be rewarded. The little knob.

        Alan - 2011-11-10 18:10

        Him and Craig Joubert

    • Jaco - 2011-11-10 13:44

      and here i thought it's only in SA where we reward criminals. too harsh?

    • Theprodigy - 2011-11-10 13:44

      of course he would be, he was instrumental in NZ winning the WC, he is the best of NZ, right up there with Tiger Wood's ex caddy, Steve William's

    • rondee.scherman - 2011-11-10 13:47

      In the land of the idiots the big idiot will be the chief!

    • Wikus - 2011-11-10 13:48

      Obviously a PR move......

    • Ivan - 2011-11-10 13:49

      Why don't they just make him president?????

        Alan - 2011-11-10 18:11

        Oh but I think they just might.

    • Betsy - 2011-11-10 13:53

      You have GOT to be kidding!

    • Kevin - 2011-11-10 13:54

      Once again these dimwit wife bashers trying to rub salt into the wounds of us SA fans!!!Let them rate him as tops,he'll then get to ref some game here in SA....then we can really give him Craig Joubert will get if he ever ref's in France.....

        Alan - 2011-11-10 18:12


    • Bielie - 2011-11-10 14:02

      How can anybody be surprised at his nomination? He single-handedly removed the one obstacle that stood between the ABs and their second ever RWC. I'm surprised that he wasn't also nominated in the team of the year and player of the year categories.

    • mani.bodenstein - 2011-11-10 14:06

      if he wins this does he have to give his sheep farm back?

    • theodore.kok - 2011-11-10 14:07

      well he played his part beautifully so in his country he is a her but please dont come here again i hope home affairs can play their part when a visa must be issued next time thanks in advance

    • i.dyer - 2011-11-10 14:09

      Top blind ref maybe.

    • Gavin - 2011-11-10 14:13

      if thats how they reward idiots, perhaps they should make Julius Malema their president, i hear he's looking for a job! hahaha

    • Nick - 2011-11-10 14:16

      he did get the freedom of new zealand awarded to him as far as nzru is concerned he is the best thing since sliced bread they have no shame

    • Arch - 2011-11-10 14:19

      why would it be a shock everybody knew that new zealand had to have a helping hand with dan carter not being there . or they just suck at nomineeing people

    • cas.vanniekerk1 - 2011-11-10 14:27

      Do they only have one ref? Is there no one else? "In the land of the blind, the one-eye is king!" comes to mind.

    • joeballito - 2011-11-10 14:42

      New Zeeland, it was a shallow victory and now you are making it worse.They are not that good,we would have beaten them,full stop.Lawrence is a cheat and now they are giving accolades to him.

    • Jeffrey - 2011-11-10 14:52

      The man single-handedly robbed us of the opportunity to win a record-breaking 2 consecutive world cups, and even the kiwi press admitted that at the time. Perhaps there are no other ref's out there?

    • attieensurene - 2011-11-10 14:56

      Well done NZ No shame on your part for what happend in the quarters. O yes, but how can you be ashamed of something you orgenised! The NZ cheeters awards!!!!!

    • Gungets - 2011-11-10 14:57

      His only competition internal to NZ is from a lady ref and a ref who has acted as TMO in just one test. New Zealand are not overendowed with refs at the moment, so he probably is their best ref. Sad really, when such a proud rugby nation cannot produce referees, when one of their own is head of the IRB refs board and Bryce's daddy is head of the Referee High Performance board at the IRB. That they have nominated Bryce says a great deal about the state or rugby administration in NZ.

    • vaughn.l.jacobs - 2011-11-10 14:59

      Well, BL made sure NZ did not have to face South Africa !!!! So maybe he should get the award....

        Mohambry - 2011-11-12 11:56

        Wayne Barnes ensured South Africa won the World Cup 2007 after allowing the French to beat NZ with a clear forward pass try. After beating the Minos and a lousy England in France the BOKS were crowned WC CHAMPS, and assisted by your other favored son "Stu Dickenson" of the SAFAAS who disallowed a legitimate try by England. Bryce Lawrence ensured the BOKS beat the British Lions the when the Lions were clearly the better team. Question for SAFAAS, which team won the WC twice by scoring tries? Make your own judgement.

    • Heinrich - 2011-11-10 15:10

      Get over your self if the Boks by some chance should have ended up in the semi final, they would have been annihilated. First of all they could only sored three tries against there main pool opponents, Wales and Samoa. Then lo and behold they tried to run at the Aussies instead of taking their kicks. I realy don't know what where they thinking with all there speed on the bench and battling with players that were unable to keep up with the pace of the game.Sorry people they were past there sell by date.

    • dawiej - 2011-11-10 15:10

      He did the work for them, makng sure they get to the final at least. O brian has to reward him somehow. lets just hope they all choke on it .

    • reinhard.kirchner - 2011-11-10 15:14

      This really makes me feel sick to my stomach!! Is rugby also now becoming a corrupt sport?? All i want is to watch a awesome fair game of rugby!! But nooooooooo NZ can't stand the fact that we most probably will beat them in Wold Cup rugby so they have to resort to unfair play!! Fuming!!

    • dawiej - 2011-11-10 15:15

      Nz players = chokers Nz ref's= cheaters

        Shoosh - 2011-11-11 11:16

        SA players = losers SA supporters = cry babies

    • Peter - 2011-11-10 15:19

      Hahahaa, as the other comments say they are just happy that he made sure SA didn't make the semi finals.

    • Virginia - 2011-11-10 15:57

      What a joke, of cause they will vote him the best ref, he gave them the world cup. I really think that SA must remove its self from the 2015 RWC, leave it to teams like Australia and New Zealand I am sure in time they will be the only two left in RWC circles.

    • Bokfan - 2011-11-10 16:21

      LOL Give the devil his due. The SmallBlack bastrids have absolutely no shame.

    • Johan - 2011-11-10 16:50

      It makes PERFECT sence

    • Niki - 2011-11-10 16:55

      The Kiwis are so PC: A woman, a rookie and a blind man up for the award...

    • clivegoss - 2011-11-10 17:17

      The Kiwi's won the world cup without doing the hard yards. Thank you "Bryce baby" ! ! Should he be selected as "MY MAN THE REF" in silver fern land it will merely confirm the suggestion that our game against the Aussies was the most transparent and public "match fixing" debacle in the history of professional sport>

    • Bruce - 2011-11-10 17:28

      God guys you have short memories. The Boks have been crap for two years barely winning an international.The only game you win is against an AB second string team and then only with kicks.You were never going to ba a problem for the AB´s.The Ozzies were a better team and deserved to be in the semis.With half decent refs you would have lost against Samoa and Wales.Guys know your place

        Alan - 2011-11-10 18:15

        Wales yes, Samoa you're kidding. Ozzies through everything at it that they could cos they were going to lose it anyway.

    • annelie.oosthuysen - 2011-11-10 17:59

      What happened to honesty, integrity and fairness? I don’t think Mr. B Lawrence know what that means. You have to live with your choices Mr. Lawrence even if it’s a game, you still need to be fair and do a proper job. It was your choice before the game between The Springboks and The All Blacks started that there will be only one winner, The All Blacks and your will make sure that happens. Well one day when you are old and need to ask for forgiveness, I hope GOD will understand what you have done to a Nation how desperately needed to win to get the people together through rugby. People are dying in our land unnecessary and I thought Rugby, Soccer, Cricket and Religion will binned us together at the end. You destroyed part of our dream. Why???? Only you know the answer. Thanks for that!!!

    • catcus1 - 2011-11-10 18:00

      Well, obviously, and based on his performance for NZ, he should probably win it ! IDIOT !

    • Anthony - 2011-11-10 19:36

      Why wouldn't he be, he won the world cup for NZ?

    • aiazmir - 2011-11-10 19:38

      Doesn't say much about the standard of refereeing in New Zealand. I wonder why Steve Walsh moved to Australia? Is it a case of refereeing the game for New Zealand, or being a good referee. The mind boggles.

    • Norman - 2011-11-10 21:19

      what is with rugby today? when france lose they blame the SA ref and when you guys lose, you blame the NZ ref? why dont you blame your over confident smug PDV, or your over used foward pack or maybe even your over rated captain? try there for starters, if that doesn't work, maybe point a finger at the SARU for their role in this. Blame someone who you actually cares - you are wasting your time and showing your ignorance by blaming the ref!!! the game is full speed today and if Pockok can get away with what he did, that is what makes him such a brilliant young athlete, brussow does the same thing?

    • Owentjie - 2011-11-11 02:41

      Im not going to even read the article and just comment, " Of course he was."

    • Ockie - 2011-11-11 07:48

      It is actually a move that do not stun many SA supporters!

    • Kevin - 2011-11-11 07:59

      Paddy O'brien was a below average ref - he is now tasked to deliver competent officials for the game - note the mis-match.

    • Diaan - 2011-11-11 16:04

      What a joke, well done to the NZ players, not Bryce !!!!

    • Andrew - 2011-11-17 15:03

      The sad thing is that we have NZ, who in all fairness produced a good side through the tournament undermined by a refereeing set up that was not fit for purpose. I blame SANZAR and Paddy O' Brian for 'arranging' for Bryce Lawrence to sink the Bok's efforts to stay in the contest. What does this make of the tournament as a whole. It stinks really. Bryce Lawrence should hang up his whistle now and PO'B should go also.

    • claw.chicken - 2011-11-18 10:03

      This oke should be stoned!!!!!

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