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Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams


Top14 player imposter!


JDV smashed by Benoit August


The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!


Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont


All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard


Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try


Wales vs England 1999


Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw



Friday, November 12, 2010

Referee fitness in the modern game, with Craig Joubert

England host the Wallabies at Twickenham tomorrow with man in the middle Craig Joubert taking charge of proceedings. While the scrum will be a big focus, it’s Joubert’s general fitness around the park that might determine what kind of decisions he makes.

With professionalism came a big change in the way the game was played, watched, and officiated. As with everything in life, change is constant so as technology improves, it’s gradually being applied to rugby to enhance the game for all involved.

We’ve now got pundits chatting about the game at halftime with iPad’s in hand, experiments with matches being filmed in 3D, and the ability to interact directly with players through that buzz word everyone loves, social media.

Referees, often the most scrutinised men on the field come the final whistle, are also pushing the limits of their trade as they’re now being required to reach and maintain stringent fitness levels.

Joubert, who took control of the Super 14 and Currie Cup finals recently, is an IRB panel referee and as such needs to be in peak condition to maintain his standing as one of the best in the game. He chatted to Total Rugby recently to show off his new device that monitors every aspect of his training and matchday performances.

Gone are the days when Test referees are overweight, experienced men who doddle along in the hope of keeping up with play. The top professional refs are now younger, fitter, and more in tune with the game than ever before, thanks in part to the equipment they now have access to.

It’s perhaps ironic though that as this type of technology develops and improves, we the fans are also getting closer to the action with big screens in the stadiums, fantastic TV and online coverage, and replays of every single controversial decision.

At the end of the day, referees will always take a lot of flak because of that, but being the fittest they can be certainly puts them in the best possible position to make sure those 50-50 calls go the right way.


Time: 04:26


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25 Comments:

  • 1st

    By Anonymous westman, at November 12, 2010 7:08 pm  

  • Great to see things from the ref's perspective.

    One note to Rugbydump, why do you feel the need to put an apostrophe in the plural of 'referees'?

    Grammar is usually pretty tidy on here.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 12, 2010 7:22 pm  

  • Thank you for that, I found that interesing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 12, 2010 7:22 pm  

  • Fourth!!!!!!!

    By Anonymous Flooz, at November 12, 2010 7:31 pm  

  • Interesting vid.


    "One note to Rugbydump, why do you feel the need to put an apostrophe in the plural of 'referees'?"

    Sure are a nit-picky fucker, aren't ye?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 12, 2010 7:38 pm  

  • Can't explain it to be honest. Some kind of weird repeat-typo-syndrome, induced by writing too fast when in a rush. Fixed now though, thanks for pointing it out, and good to know that some do actually read rather than just skipping to the play button. :)

    By Blogger RD, at November 12, 2010 7:45 pm  

  • Lol, there's something wrong with that system. an avg. of 1 m/s would never make him run 9 km during a whole game :)

    By Anonymous bisse, at November 12, 2010 8:46 pm  

  • Enjoyed this, I always like 'behind the scenes' stuff.

    By Anonymous Phil, at November 12, 2010 9:47 pm  

  • Clive Norling's GPS would have shown him going from the pub to the Kebab van.

    "and here's my heart rate going from 60bpm to 80bpm as I get excited about the coming kebab after sinking 8 pints."

    By Anonymous jpm, at November 12, 2010 10:01 pm  

  • RD said...
    Fixed now though, thanks for pointing it out

    Still says Referee's...

    I think bisse is right. 1m/s = 60m per minute. 80 mins at 60m/min = 5.4km. Doesn't it??

    Anyway, pedantry over. Excellent video, very interesting.

    Any idea where this interview took place? Backdrop looks bloody beautiful.

    By Anonymous Von, at November 12, 2010 10:31 pm  

  • That's 1m/s AVERAGE. He's not doing 1m/s the whole game. 9000m seems like alot though.

    Does anyone know how much this guy gets paid? Or any of the top refs?

    Btw, I reckon Tom Cruise could play this guy in a movie.

    'One man.....'
    'One whistle....'
    'Tom Cruise is....JOUBERT'

    By Anonymous Macca, at November 12, 2010 10:48 pm  

  • He must've made a killing as a "former corporate banker". Snazzy place, to say the least.

    That's how averages work, Macca. The total distance / total time = average speed.

    However, on the program, it says the total time is over a period of 2h31m (or 151 min = 9060s). So, yes, 9000m/9060sec = 1m/s.

    What seems impressive is that he was running at a max. of almost 18mph sometime in there.

    By Anonymous fry, at November 13, 2010 12:06 am  

  • Damn 'referee's'! Sorted now.

    It looks like he has an Umhlanga Rocks car license plate, which is on the North Coast of Durban (where the Sharks are from).

    But by the look of his house (front and backdrop when being interviewed) I'd guess that's Hillcrest or Kloof. Also in Natal. Beautiful place, but living there doesn't make him a kazzilionaire.

    The top IRB refs do get paid very well these days though.

    By Anonymous Greiffel, at November 13, 2010 10:05 am  

  • Very interesting! Refereein'g is topsport nowadays..

    By Anonymous dutchrugbyplayer, at November 13, 2010 11:18 am  

  • @Greiffel;
    Perhaps more to do with his past as a corporate banker than as an IRB ref that he can afford to live there

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 13, 2010 7:21 pm  

  • a very poor performance today, again from Craig Joubert

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 13, 2010 10:22 pm  

  • it's a shame Craig Joubert's high level of fitness doesn't translate to a high level refereeing ability

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 13, 2010 11:25 pm  

  • Thanks for sharing this RD, good vid.

    By Anonymous Jeremy, at November 14, 2010 3:22 am  

  • @anon - Only saw the second half of the match but I thought his officiating was great - like usual. Let the game flow which is all you can really ask for. Referees seem damned if they do and damned if they don't.

    By Anonymous BrisbaneBok, at November 14, 2010 5:49 am  

  • Nice car, great house. He lives in Natal.

    Refs make a lot these days. NZ refs make $200000 a year. Not sure about there counterparts.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 14, 2010 10:36 am  

  • one of the best referees for sure. 148bpm on average is impressive

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 14, 2010 4:40 pm  

  • He should be reading a book about the rules of the breakdown!!

    By Anonymous mart, at November 15, 2010 1:07 am  

  • Hey Von, just to be a bitch

    "I think bisse is right. 1m/s = 60m per minute. 80 mins at 60m/min = 5.4km. Doesn't it??"

    Let's do the maths. 1m/s = 60m/min
    60m/min X 80mins = 4.8km
    It's not soccer. Either way its still a good bit of distance to be running. Even tho alot of time the clock is ticking for penalties and scrums he's not running. Ah well just said i'd try and ruin your day hahahahaha

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2010 5:25 pm  

  • Hey Von, just to be a bitch

    "I think bisse is right. 1m/s = 60m per minute. 80 mins at 60m/min = 5.4km. Doesn't it??"

    Let's do the maths. 1m/s = 60m/min
    60m/min X 80mins = 4.8km
    It's not soccer. Either way its still a good bit of distance to be running. Even tho alot of time the clock is ticking for penalties and scrums he's not running. Ah well just said i'd try and ruin your day hahahahaha

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2010 5:26 pm  

  • Who is to say its the mean average, and not the mode or median?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 25, 2010 8:10 pm  

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