As the busy part of the season concludes, we take some time to reflect on some of the big achievements by our referees in the past few months. Darroch Chua shares his experience as he officiated in his first International Test match in Uzbekistan. Abdul Hannan talks about his experience as the first Singapore Referee to be sent to the U.S. and David Hope, Leow Wei Liang and Danish Putra give us an insight into the Jakarta 10s tournament in Indonesia.
Asia Rugby Division 3- Darroch Chua
On 23rd March 2017, I set off to Tashkent, Uzbekistan for my first Asia Rugby appointment in the Asia Rugby Championship Division III.
Leading up to the trip, I was fortunate to have my fellow experienced referees (Just, Charlie, Khairul) offering valuable advice on what to expect and how to prepare myself for the game. This would be my biggest test thus far – and I was keen to do well.
I was fortunate that the weather held up despite the forecast of rain. In fact, the conditions were perfect for an open game of running rugby. After my pre-match briefing (via a translator) & warm up, I then proceed to line up alongside the teams for their respective national anthems.
The game itself was a tight affair with both teams having a go at each other. One of the challenges I faced was having to manage the players despite of the language barrier. At times, I had to rely on hand signals to communicate with them. This was certainly a good learning takeaway for my refereeing development. Uzbekistan had the upper hand in the first half, only for Iran to hit back in the second half with a try in the last minute of play. However they narrowly missed their conversion – which led to the game ending in a 13-13 draw.
Overall, I really enjoyed the experience and am very grateful for the opportunity to be involved. Special thanks goes out to Asia Rugby Competition Manager, Aaron Stockdale and Uzbekistan RFU representative Anatoliy Shirov for taking good care of us, our CMO, Dougie Shearer for his guidance, as well as everyone who helped me one way or another.
U.S.A. Exchange- Abdul Hannan
In February, I was selected by the Singapore Society of Rugby Union Referees on a first of its kind of exchange to the United States. I was there for two weeks and was welcomed by Bert Moeller, Vice President of the Referees Society of Southern California. I was fortunate enough to referee two games in the San Diego area which are equivalent to our Championship and SUNIG games in Singapore. The games were played at a very good level with couple of Islander players that raised the standard of the games. I was fortunate enough to have a referee coach observed me during the two games and received good feedback for both my games with some points for improvements.
After about one week in San Diego area, I made my way to Las Vegas where I was scheduled to attend a High Performance Referee Camp. The camp was conducted by Richard Avery, who was US Rugby High Performance Referee Manager. He and his team covered a wide range of topics from the game such as scrum management and more importantly the different aspects of foul play. The camp was attended by about 100 referees from the US and also a number of overseas referees. It was a good opportunity for me to interact with them and exchange ideas and perspective of the game from the different regions.
The next 4 days, I was involved in the Las Vegas Invitational 7s which was held in conjunction with the HSBC 7s World Series. There was a very competitive level of rugby as teams fight it out for the opportunity to play in the Sam Boyd Stadium where the main 7s was held. It was a good experience for me personally to be able to referee in a different environment and atmosphere.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Singapore Society of Rugby Union Referees for selecting me on this unique exchange programme and in particular Singapore Rugby Union Referee manager Charlie Brown for closely watching my development as a referee.
Jakarta 10s- David Hope, Danish Iamputra & Leow Wei Liang
From homeland Singapura, to wonderful Indonesia on a Friday afternoon, 5th of May. After checking into the Kristal Hotel, the four of us, including another visiting referee, John Kelly from Birmingham had a pre-tournament meet up and some drinks down by Satu Lagi Bar. Called for an early night, as an early wake up call awaited us.
Well prepared and ready to go, we headed out to the Komodos Country Club for some good Saturday Rugby early in the morning. Arrived after close to an hour on the bus, we were pleasantly greeted by fellow referees from Indonesia, namely Fikri, Stephen Barber, Colin, Dicko and a few other local referees. The tournament had already started, with the women’s and U12 catogeries and shortly, came our time to shine.
Fast paced games with the men’s teams, more technical games with the vet’s and women’s games added variety to the referee experience at the Jakarta 10s. The hot day tested our limits as we went from game to game, doing games as well as being ARs. Overall, a very good learning experience for every single one of us, exposing us to a social tournament in a foreign land.
A long day was followed by a long trip back, our battered bodies at the mercy of Jakarta’s infamous traffic. As we dragged ourselves back to our humble abode, a resounding agreement was made – Tucking in for the night, we’ll fondly remember the good day of rugby that Jakarta has served us.
We would like to thank the Singapore Society of Rugby Union Referees(SSRUR), especially our Selection and Appointment Committee for the golden opportunity to be part of this splendid tournament. Special thanks to the team of referees on the Indonesian side, Blaise Hope, Fikri and Stephen Barber for managing our fun and amazing trip. Looking forward to making more brilliant memories in future Jakarta 10s!
And in other news…
A big thank you to Khairul Hilmi and Chris Galea who travel to Davao, Philippines to take part in the upcoming World Rugby Educator course next month. We look forward to seeing both Khairul and Chris at future referee courses in developing the next generation of referees in Singapore.
The Referees End of Season Awards ceremony gets underway at McGettigans-Clarke Quay on Friday 26th May. A massive thank you to all of our referees and our sponsors for their ongoing support of the SSRUR this season!