SA ref Peyper set for Super Rugby milestone

    2019-04-03 07:55

    Cape Town - South Africa's Jaco Peyper will on Saturday become only the fourth referee in history to officiate his 100th Super Rugby match when he takes charge of the Trans-Tasman clash between the Crusaders and Brumbies in Christchurch.

    The match starts at 06:15 (SA time).

    Only Steve Walsh (111 matches), and the South African duo of Jonathan Kaplan (107) and Craig Joubert (103) have achieved this remarkable feat.

    Peyper's Super Rugby century will be another highlight in his illustrious career, which includes officiating the Super Rugby final in 2015 and 2017, and 46 Tests, which includes the opener of the series between the All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions, also in 2017.

    Last year, Peyper was named SA's Referee of the Year for a third time. He refereed his fourth Currie Cup final in Cape Town in 2018.

    "I would like to congratulate Jaco on this magnificent milestone and huge achievement - it's remarkable that three of the four referees who have reached 100 matches at this level are from South Africa and something we can be very proud of," said SA Rugby president Mark Alexander.

    "Jaco has been one of the leading referees in the world for the last few years and we are proud to have him in our ranks. He has not only been at the top of the refereeing game for a number of seasons, but he is also a wonderful ambassador for South Africa, and we are delighted to see his career grow from strength to strength.

    Peyper, who is 39 years old and practices law in Bloemfontein, made his first-class refereeing debut in 2008, in a match between the Valke and Boland. His first Super Rugby match followed in 2009.
    He commented: "I just love rugby and I'm so grateful today when I reflect on the last 10 years refereeing in this competition, all the experiences lived and friendships forged.

    "The key to longevity is not just how good you are at refereeing, but your support structure. I have been fortunate to have had world class support from so many people, but none more so than my wife, little girls and family - I wish my dad was still alive to see this day, as he would have been so proud.

    "Super Rugby is unique in that it requires versatility in refereeing skills, from tough local derbies to managing different styles of play from teams in other SANZAAR countries. Every week is a great challenge in understanding the fixture on that day, but loving every minute still and striving for that perfect game, one day."

    In Christchurch on Saturday, Peyper will be assisted by compatriot Egon Seconds and New Zealand's Paul Williams, with Kiwi Ben Skeen the television match official (TMO).

    Elsewhere, South Africa's Marius van der Westhuizen will referee the Reds v Stormers game in Brisbane on Friday (11:00 SA time).

    Van der Westhuizen will be assisted by countryman AJ Jacobs and Australia's Nic Berry, with another Aussie, James Leckie, the TMO.

    Friday evening's Lions v Sharks derby in Johannesburg (19:10) will be referee by New Zealand's Mike Fraser.

    Fraser will be assisted by South Africa's Rasta Rasivhenge and New Zealand's  Brendon Pickerill, with South Africa's Willie Vos in the TMO booth.

    The following day, Pickerill will referee the Bulls' match against the Jaguares in Pretoria (15:05).

    Pickerill will be assisted by Rasivhenge and Fraser, with Vos again the TMO.

    Super Rugby referees: Round 8

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