• RWC 2011 semi-final Referees & Final Referee Predictions

    The iRB today announced that Allain Rolland and Craig Joubert will take charge of the two semi final games.

    Wales v France - Allain Rolland with Kaplan & Barnes. Pearson is reserve AR & de Santis as TMO
    Australia v New Zealand - Craig Joubert with Owens & Poite. Clancy is reserve AR & Veldsman as TMO

    Allain Rolland was a fairly obvious and easy selection for us to predict for 2 reasons.
    1. His bilingual ability makes him an easy pick.
    2. The Referee of the preceeding final (2007 in this case) always gets a semi final in the next tournament*.
    *Andre Watson was an exception as he got 2 finals and wasn't in the 2007 tournament.

    Craig Joubert was a very surprising appointment for us, mainly because a lot of our members believed that now South Africa were out he would be almost certain to be appointed to the final, however, history shows us that the Referee of the final has never refereed both a Qtr final and a semi final before hand. Will it change this year?

    Lets look at the 10 Refs and their suitability and eligibility to referee the final.
    • Wayne Barnes - Eligible & completely capable of being able to referee the final, and with England out would be a good choice, however may be a political nightmare for the iRB should New Zealand be in the final and lose. Even if it's not a referee issue, the majority would blame him. However, if New Zealand do not make the final, he may be a good choice due to his excellent communication skills.
    • George Clancy - Eligible but unfortunately hasn't had the best of tournaments this year. I don't believe we will be seeing George in the middle again this tournament.
    • Craig Joubert - Eligible & one of the best referees in the world at the moment, though has met some criticism of his scrum management. Well respected official, but as stated before, a final referee has never had a Qtr & Semi as well.
    • Jonathan Kaplan - Eligible & the most experienced test referee of all time, is this his last hoorah? Dropped out of being AR1 at the New Zealand v Argentina game for unknown reasons, hopefully if it is an injury it won't keep him out. Are the powers that be lining him up for the final as it will be his last RWC?
    • Bryce Lawrence - Ineligible if New Zealand make the final. Had not his best game in the Quarter Final with South Africa v Australia, seemed to miss a lot around the breakdown. I will admit to not being Bryce's biggest fan, I've tried to give benefit of the doubt, but I just can't. However it's clear that the iRB are more impressed with his refereeing than I am.
    • Nigel Owens - Ineligible if Wales make the final. Has had a fantastic Rugby World Cup, was a little shaky in the South Africa v Samoa game, but nothing that cost Samoa the game as they would claim. Nigel seems to get really good productivity out of his team of 3 as well. If Wales don't make it, he's certainly a contender.
    • Dave Pearson - Eligible. Dave has also had a very good Rugby World Cup, he has really seemed to enjoy himself out on the park, even with his bit of banter to Todd Clever of the USA. Unfortunately, he just not been as good as Barnes, Poite, Owens & Joubert.
    • Roman Poite - Would be ineligible if France make the final. According to our members Roman is the best referee at this world cup. Disappointed not to have seen him referee a knock out stage game, his management of the Scrum, Tackle, Ruck & Maul areas is very good. Also had an amazing game in the European Cup Final this year. If France don't make it, I'd love to see Roman get it.
    • Allain Rolland - Eligible & certainly has showed that he is still a world class referee. However, as he refereed the 2007 final, will he get it twice in a row and match Andre Watson's achievement. Almost certainly will be Allain's last Rugby World Cup and they could do a lot worse. Has probably been the strictest referee on the breakdown at this RWC.
    • Steve Walsh - Ineligible. The only Referee that cannot be appointed to the final or 3rd place play off. Steve's Kiwi origins and now Australian residence mean he cannot referee either, and with one certain to make the final. That's Steve's time in the middle finished. This is quite a shame, Steve seems to referee a little like the French play, sometimes you can get a magnificent display that really embraces the way the two teams are playing, and other times you see a bit of a battle between him and the players. What is certain is that he has the ability. Good to see him back at the top level after his break from the game.
    So that's it, this time next week we'll know who the final referee is, I can't see Craig Joubert being given three knock out games, so I would like to see: (and excluding Joubert for the above reason).

    Wales v New Zealand - Roman Poite
    Wales v Australia - Wayne Barnes
    France v Australia - Wayne Barnes
    France v New Zealand - Nigel Owens

    Though never write Bryce Lawrence out of the appointments, fair play to the guy, he gets appointed to some great games.
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Andy Evans -
      Slightly surprised that after a few days no-one has yet commented on this article. I disagree with your assertion that Craig Joubert won't be considered as he'll have refereed in all knock-out rounds. Although I'm playing coincidentally the "SH stitch up" card, I did many weeks ago write that I hoped the IRB would appoint to the KO rounds those in form & I don't think many would disagree with the view that CJ is on top form. I think the main reason that SW wasn't appointed to the other semi was that he has refereed the French several times already in RWC 2011 rather than any NH objection to the SH having the 2 SF appointments or any failure on SW's part in his QF. So unless CJ has an absolute 'mare on Sunday, I'd expect him to referee the final irrespective of the 2 teams. The 3rd place game could be anyone's, & if it turned out to be another SH referee then that's an indication of where the IRB's preference for refereeing ability (& style?) currently lies.
    1. chopper15's Avatar
      chopper15 -
      Sorry wrong thread.
    1. Robert Burns's Avatar
      Robert Burns -

      I respect your view, but was merely using history as a basis in that no one has ever refereed every stage.

      Another weird part I discovered earlier is that the Qtr final appointments meant that Bryce had now Refereed Australia twice before the Qtr and never RSA (Surprising that Australia won the play the ref game?), Craig Joubert had refereed Ireland twice and never Wales (Ireland lost to a better team), Nigel Owens had refereed the AB's once before and never the Argies (Argies lost because they couldn't play like that for 80 mins), Steve Walsh had refereed France twice before and never England (and England lost).

      Does that say anything about the appointments?

      For the Semis:

      Craig has not refereed Aus or NZ in this tournament.
      Allain has refereed both Wal & Fra once in this tournament.
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