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The man in the middle


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Lions, Original Content, Sharks on 15 Oct 2014 at 10:34
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Referees are, of course, custodians of the law between the four white lines, with rugby pundits across the globe always quick to point out that, somewhat uniquely, rugby has “laws” rather than “rules”. For the man tasked with blowing Saturday’s Currie Sup semi-final between the Lions and the Sharks, understanding the intricacies of applying technical legal interpretations is really nothing new.

Jaco van Heerden, you see, is actually a qualified advocate with six years of legal practice experience to his name, to go along with a decade’s worth of refereeing scars, admittedly at lower levels. At only 31 years of age, he’s one of the new breed of young refs on the scene and it will be interesting to see whether he can resist the temptation to call Marco Wentzel or Jacques Botes “Oom” on Saturday.

His name will not be a familiar one to fans – and with good reason. Van Heerden was only promoted to the SARU senior panel this season and would appear a rather strange choice to blow a Currie Cup Premier Division semi-final, having only two senior Currie Cup games to his name. Then again, with the way more experienced refs have been blotting their respective copybooks with sub-standard performances this year, maybe a breath of fresh air is just what we need?

Hoping Jaco lives up to the promise that has clearly been identified within the refereeing echelons at SARU and delivers a solid performance with the whistle on Saturday.



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