Joubert realises dream

2011-10-20 07:30

Auckland - Craig Joubert will achieve a long-held ambition when he referees the Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and France at Eden Park in Auckland on Sunday.

At 33, the South African is relatively young to be taking charge of the showpiece match but he has been refereeing since he was a teenager and later abandoned a banking career to become a professional whistle-blower.

Yet there will be a touch of sadness for Joubert when he gets the final under way as his late father Des, himself a referee and a mentor to his son, will not be there to see it.

"My late father got me into refereeing and I cannot help but think how proud he would have been," Joubert said this week.

Joubert, who was 17 when his father died, told Thursday's New Zealand Herald: "When he died it was a tough blow to get over. I was really close to him as a man but also we shared the refereeing. I hope he is sitting up there somewhere watching. I like to think that."

Joubert's mother, Lynne, a school teacher in the city of Pietermaritzburg, will be at the match after her son paid for her to fly in from South Africa.

"Craig started refereeing at a young age. His father was such a great influence in his life," she told the Witness newspaper.

"When he lost him I wasn't sure he was going to continue but he was very positive and continued with rugby."

Much praised for the clarity of his decision-making and man-management, Joubert was unobtrusive while handling New Zealand's 20-6 semi-final win over Australia.

And All Blacks coach Graham Henry reacted to the news of his appointment for the final by saying: "He relates well to the players, he's cool, communicates well, has lots of composure.

"He's one of the top referees in the world over the last three or four years. The players enjoy playing with him."

Joubert told the Herald his approach to refereeing was to make his position clear to the players right from the start.

"I believe in the philosophy of being firm early on," he said. "It is like raising a child: they just want to know where the boundaries are.

"These guys are so disciplined they will react."

However, he added: "You have to deliver your message authoritatively, but with respect. Treat them like men, not children. They are grown men and none of us like being treated like children."


  • Vusi - 2011-10-20 07:56

    Congratulations Sir. And if Richie tries his usual tricks just put your fist up in the air and shout AMANDLA. He will think you are about to bliksem him.

      Bigrp - 2011-10-20 08:24

      I like it Vusi, roflmao!

      heinrich.beukes1 - 2011-10-20 08:34

      He should speak to him in south african languages that he doesn't understand lol he might just get scared! :)

  • Rory - 2011-10-20 07:57

    Kudo's to you Craig. Well done mate! The best ref on show at the moment I'd say.

  • Theo - 2011-10-20 07:58

    Well done Craig. You are the only SA man left worthy of a SA presence in this RWC 2011. The boks team failed miserably in their misguided effort to win after losing almost all of their matches the past 4 years.They now join the long list of losers watching the rwc final at their homes thinking fondly about what could have been if only....and then taking pills to sleep afterwards for bed.

      Peter - 2011-10-20 08:10

      Calling any group of people who played their hearts out for their country "losers" is immature and quite frankly just plain stupid. Its a competition and there can only be one winner. I wonder what sport you have represented your country at?

      Vusi - 2011-10-20 08:18

      @Peter. Sir just look at his profile picture and all the pieces of the puzzle will fit.

      Barry - 2011-10-20 08:26

      @ Vusi....Yes/ Agree. LOL

      Theo - 2011-10-20 08:37

      So sorry Peter. I meant to say Chokers!

  • Jabu - 2011-10-20 08:57

    Congratulations Craig! You certainly have worked very hard to achieve this, I hope that many a child who SETS GOALS will learn lessons from you. Jabu

  • Chris - 2011-10-20 09:36

    Well done Craig! Your dad certainly would have been proud on you. I was fortunate to know him, also as a mentor in my early days as a ref in PMB. Truely a great guy. I am sure you have now fulfilled one of his dreams as well. Pray that you have a great game!

  • Barry - 2011-10-20 10:27

    Well Done Craig - hear you are a Maritzburg College Old Boy all the best from a Glenwood Old Boy

  • Benmica - 2011-10-20 11:15


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