Brumbies profiling Super Rugby match officials

Super Rugby Semi-finalists the Brumbies have started compiling profiles on individual Super Rugby match referees as they look to win their first title in 10 years.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham has admitted that they also had Australian referee Steve Walsh at training at the beginning of the season to offer advice.

The Brumbies have been utilising the expertise of a specialist member of staff Brumbies referee development officer Mark Snow to compile profiles on match officials.

It is not yet known whether former referee Snow has compiled a file on South African Jaco Peyper who will be in charge of the Brumbies Super Rugby Semi-final against the Waratahs in Sydney.

Larkham says that Snow has been providing “an insight into the referees” and that it was “preparation for a standard week” but there was nothing underhanded about studying the match officials.

“We certainly don’t try and cheat or anything like that,” Larkham told AAP.

“But we know the importance of good, clear communication between the referee and the captain. We know how important that is.”

Coach Larkham said that the iniative was about “understanding how they interpret the game – that’s the key for it really”.

He did add that the Brumbies don’t necessarily moderate their behaviour on the information generated from Snow’s reports.

“Not as a team, I wouldn’t say. The team goes through phases throughout the season where we are talking to the referee too much … but generally, we go out in a game and the only person that’s meant to talk to the referee is our captain … that’s our philosophy.

“It’s not so much about giving us an edge. It’s making sure we don’t make any mistakes out there on the field that will let decisions come into it.”

Larkham said that one referee who they have had issues with in the past Steve Walsh had visited the Brumbies earlier this year and now they no longer have a problem with the way he manages matches.

“He came down to training and gave us a few pointers as to what the referees had discussed and what they’re looking for in this Super Rugby campaign,” Larkham said.

“I think he’s done a fantastic job in terms of re-inventing himself as a referee. Yeah, we’re very happy with the way he does his job at the moment.”

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