Bulls happy with Joubert as ref

2010-05-26 09:01

Brenden Nel

Johannesburg - Top South African referee Craig Joubert has been rewarded with his first Vodacom Super 14 final, and the Bulls, of all people are rather happy with this.

While there may be some wry smiles when the appointment was announced – especially as the only two games the Bulls have lost this season have been reffed by Joubert – the Bulls made all the right noises when asked about the influence of the 31st man on the field this Saturday.

Joubert was particularly harsh on the Bulls at the breakdown in the game against the Blues – pinning Deon Stegmann five times and virtually reffing them out of the game in the first half, so much that they never recovered.

While it is true that champion teams should recover from any setback, the Bulls were off on the day and even though nobody will say it publicly, privately Joubert had a long session with the Bulls after the game and according to one or two team sources even admitted getting it wrong on one or two occasions.

The Reds game was no different as the Bulls again suffered at the breakdown and lost a game where they were outclassed.

It could be just coincidence that Joubert had the whistle for both games, as the Bulls looked jaded and had very little ball in both, looking far from the complete outfit they did in the rest of the competition.

Still, there will be more than just the odd mention of the officials in team talks this week, especially with the margin for error so small in a one-off 80 minute final.

Bulls captain Victor Matfield said there were no problems with Joubert, and it was up to the Bulls to make sure they didn’t give him anything to penalise them for.

“We’ve got a very good relationship with him and met with him after both games, receiving good feedback from him. He was also the referee at our pre-season game that helped us so we’re happy with him in the middle,” Matfield said. “The big thing is that it is up to us to win the game and in those two games we made it easy for him to penalise us for mistakes we made. We have to be much more disciplined this week.”

While at one stage even the SA Referees association was pointing out flanker Deon Stegmann’s indiscretions in those games, and it was felt that he was being victimised, the star flanker bounced back with some exceptional displays that other referees were fine with – including two big matches against the Crusaders, one of which where he overshadowed All Black captain Richie McCaw.

Stegmann’s contribution in the final match at Loftus Versfeld was exceptional at the breakdown and he has all the hallmarks similar to his long-time friend Heinrich Brussow. And adding to that, it is natural for openside flankers to live on the edge of the law, meaning that sometimes they will be pinned.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke believes the young flanker has sorted out any problems he might have. In fact, the coach even went as far as suggesting that Joubert’s harsh calls were “a favour” for the Bulls.

“As Victor said, we had great feedback from the officials and we know we were at fault. We adjusted and in fact, Craig did us some favours in forcing us to become more accurate at the breakdown. We needed to look at our decision making and we have to be positive this weekend.”

Either way the pressure is on, not only for the two sets of forwards facing laws that are left open to interpretation, but to a referee who has proved himself the best in the Southern Hemisphere to be appointed to the final. As Ludeke rightly says, it is the team that will be more accurate on Saturday that will win. Both sides have in-form flyhalves, and rest assured, any indiscretions will be punished.


  • Christie - 2010-05-26 09:14

    His influence in this game is a worrying factor. I just hope that he will not come and spoil this momentous occasion with his own little unwanted agenda’s. As a typical Blue Bull I do not have a problem with loosing an encounter however it should be fair. I hope I am wrong but history with this individual is against us.

  • Molefe - 2010-05-26 09:18

    Once again Victor gets it 100% right. You should never allow yourself to get into a position where the referees calls has an influance on the game. Once you are there you are allready loosing! Ask Richie McCaw after they lost the semi final. He will tell you exactly the same. The Stormers have some fantastic players, and play some really good rugby! I for one cannot wait for the weekends game! That said, I fully believe that the Bulls have their number! Bulls by 7!

  • skywalker - 2010-05-26 09:18

    Schalk,Flo and Duane to totally outplay the Bulls overated back three... Joubert to blow the Bulls outta the game..!!

  • Kaplan - 2010-05-26 09:19

    When are we gonna see rankings for referees. The top dog should blow the final. Even if Kaplan has blown so many already.

  • PUNSTER - 2010-05-26 09:21

    One whistle - 20 000 BuBuZellas - Craig has no chance :-)

  • Incredabul - 2010-05-26 09:32

    Joubert for man of the macth.....

  • Jakes - 2010-05-26 09:34

    Stegman way overrated.........will be penalised a lot in the final. He is a real spoiler and apart from high work rate in this regard do not bring a lot to the table. Walking penalty........Stormers will put pressure on him specifically. If he isnt allowed to spoil (Reds & Blues games) the likes of Pierre Spies is rendered ineffective as he is only really a ball carrier. His workrate is very low compared to other loosies, he never gets involved in the breakdown and consistantly have one of the lowest tackle counts of all the forwards in the Bulls pack. Expect the Stormers to attack this area as this is one of the few areas where I believe they have a big advantage. can't waint for the game. may the best team win.........i'll be the first to congratualte the Bulls on this forum if its not the Stormers.Till then i firmly believe that we are the one team that can trip you in a final, altitude and home ground advantage to boot!

  • 4545 - 2010-05-26 09:34

    hmm i tought he did a good job againt the crusaders :P

  • WeZo - 2010-05-26 09:36

    The STORMERS dont care who refs the game!

  • Bull-y - 2010-05-26 09:36

    Spoken like true chams.

  • Carl Muller - 2010-05-26 09:41

    If Joubert blows both ways no problem. History shows that he blows against the Bulls. However, at Orlando the Referee cannot hide after the game. He is then also open to penalties. Let us see how he blows first.

  • Carl Muller - 2010-05-26 09:43

    A Bull of a game. As said, the 2 best sides to play. And in Orlando.........

  • Mel - 2010-05-26 09:49

    Is it my imagination or are the Bulls supporters already planning their excuses?

  • Jonah - 2010-05-26 09:49

    Lmao! Well, well..... It's funny to see how the Bulls try to get the referee on their side, that extra man that can help them win the final. All the praises they sing about Joubert is so funny it makes me sick. Play the game & stop flirting with the refs you bunch of Blue Moffies!!!! Stormers Forever

  • Rugby Fan - 2010-05-26 09:50

    Stormers & Bull supporters are at each others throats! but they should both be proud having the best of the best, which is two teams from South Africa playing each other this weekend. There can never be any loser this weekend because the fact that the two best teams are South African should make us exceptionally proud! What a final!!!

  • JAWS - 2010-05-26 09:52

    IF the REF is not noticed he IS having a great game...

  • Buy the cup..!! - 2010-05-26 09:55

    ...if the Stormbarians don't win the S14 cup on Saturday, ...they can always think of buying it... ....He he he he..!!

  • ANTIBULL - 2010-05-26 09:57

    BLAH BLAH....The Bulls have already transferred the cash to Joubert !!

  • Gerrit - 2010-05-26 10:02

    Joubert made it very hard for the Bulls against the Blues but the game lost against the Reds were the Bulls' own fault. The Reds played a hard and fast game against a lethargic Bulls side. Two SA sides in the final will keep Joobert from wanting to prove anything to anybody so we can expect him to keep both sides playing honest rugby. Should be cracker of a game, good luck to both sides. Go Bulls!

  • called like Jonker - 2010-05-26 10:03

    ...and I assume if the Bulls are victorious Joubert will be labelled "Blue Bull" Joubert...

  • Regtig? - 2010-05-26 10:25

    Gewonder wanneer die Bulls gaan begin g@tkruip by die ref en heuning smeer maar terselfdertyd ook darem sy "aandag vestig" op n paar dingetjies.Ek wens al heeljaar n ref stuur Matfield in sy m@er met sy windg@t attitude en oor hoe hy met die refs praat op die veld.Hopelik wys Joubert wat en wie hy is en stuur Matfield in sy m@er.Stormers speel seker nou weer onwettig blah blah blah.Lyk darem nie of Joubert ookal deur Bulls omgekoop is nie anders sou hul net stilgebly het!Mind you daar kan nog baie gebeur tot Saterdag.@Buy the cup dis n goeie plan dr@l!Jy meen soos julle jul wen teen die Crusaders op Moftus gekoop het jou droos!

  • Amanda - 2010-05-26 10:32

    I am a proud Bluecow but my husband is a Stormer and if the Stormers lose he is going to sulk for at least a month - mega-sulk! So I am kind of hoping the Stormers will win just so that I don't have to put up with a miserable husband

  • Coenza - 2010-05-26 10:33

    don't blame the ref they know better!!

  • Fikile - 2010-05-26 10:48

    Great new, Joubert is underrated and Kaplan is overrated. Jobert is much younger and can keep up with the play Kaplan should retire. The Botha Aplon indecent proves that Kaplan was not in position or did not want to see the brutal crude Botha challenge (David vs Goliath). Even the springbok coach had to comment on it. Botha should have been yellow or even red carded (botha's history of dirty play), Kaplan gave a little penalty.

  • fair - 2010-05-26 11:01

    hopefully craig joubert wont be baised at the final, if he does'nt want the game to flow and blow up everything then at least blow fair for both sides.

  • Taxi Driver - 2010-05-26 11:02

    Will the BB drivers learn how to behave on the roads? You guys were very rude on the roads last week. Stomers to win by 15.

  • Pieter - 2010-05-26 11:13

    "according to one or two team sources even admitted getting it wrong on one or two occasions" In this era of professional rugby his few mistake could have cost the Bulls a home semi and a home final, not to mention the career of Deon Stegman. This should not be allowed anymore. There is a lot of video proof available of Jouberts blatant bias against South African teams. Most probably he wants to seem like the good guy on the block for not being bias towards his own country and then rather blow against SA teams. He should not even be allowed to ref a school game if he can’t see mistakes from both teams. Sanzar makes millions out of rugby. No reason why we have to week in and week out, talk about games being decided by refs and not by players. Train refs. Rate them and if they don’t preform, FIRE THEM

  • JOKER - 2010-05-26 11:13

    @ANTI BULL - Are you and Chimsoro drinking buddies?

  • Boerseun - 2010-05-26 11:25

    @ Amanda Kry 'n nuwe man! BULLE!

  • Sean - 2010-05-26 11:32

    Stormers, no regrets, no excuses.... just magic. 80 minutes of pain of 150% effort of 22 super men. Blood guts and glory boys you can do it. Last time round it 79 minutes of super magic, one, one players madness and we lost the curry cup. We are much stronger, PS the pink cows are a little weaker. lets show dem.

  • Danie Craven - 2010-05-26 11:32


  • Frik - 2010-05-26 11:43

    dankie tog die powere Jonathan Kaplan blaas nie.

  • Sonny@Regtig? - 2010-05-26 11:45

    Jou taal spreek boek dele vir jou opvoeding. Kry jy nie skaam nie? Ongleukkig sal jy nie want soos ek gese het opvoeding by jou is 'n nul!

  • Sonny@Jonah - 2010-05-26 11:49

    Flirting with the refs? Think it's been the other way around the whole Super 14 don't you think? "Yellow card" Burger been very sweet this year!

  • @Amanda - 2010-05-26 11:55

    En jou punt is....jy hardop?

  • Fair Game - 2010-05-26 12:06

    JAWS: I agree with the principle that a ref's involvement should be limited, but that is not only up to the ref, it is also the players responsibility. One blue bull player was given 4 warnings last Saturday with his play around the breakdown...this should not be tolerated in a final. Rules are there, and I hope that Joubert won't give that many warnings on Saturday without showing the yellow card... If either team wants to obtain possesion of the ball, I hope it is done in a fair way. Players not rolling away, playing the ball on the ground etc is unneccesary, and in these cases the ref will be much more prominent... If the ref blows a fair game...Stomers by 10!!!

  • Robert - 2010-05-26 12:08 jy is darem op jou senuwees nê!!!! Jy vloek lekker en voel seker nou beter maar onthou een ding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DIS NIE TWEE WEKE TERUG SE SPAN TEEN WIE DIE STORMERS GAAN SPEEL NIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! En julle weet dit en julle worry!!!!!

  • LOL - 2010-05-26 12:13


  • Bloumasjien - 2010-05-26 13:07

    @ faigame.... Gaan kyk weer die weerprobeer game teen die Tahs. Waar le Schalk aan die verkeerde kant van die RUG!

  • Vito - 2010-05-26 13:11

    Jakes, how do you put pressure on a defending flanker at the breakdown? Please tell me.

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