Jason gets the Final

Fri, 12 Oct 2012 07:46
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Jason Jaftha has been appointed to referee the Final of the First Division of the Currie Cup - Eastern Province Kings vs Pumas.

Jason Jaftha has been appointed to referee the Final of the First Division of the Currie Cup - Eastern Province Kings vs Pumas.

They are two sides who have played each other twice and on each occasion the result has been a draw. It could be exciting. For Jaftha the appointment is exciting.

Back from work on Monday evening in his father's shop (Gameshop) in Prince Albert, he opened the e-mail with his appointments and saw that he had been appointed to do the Final. "I was surprised - didn't expect it at all. In fact I was overwhelmed with a mixture of emotions, for I realised what an honour and a privilege it is to be doing my first Final in the First Division."

It is not a surprise appointment, following as it does on three excellent Premier Division matches - Blue Bulls vs the Golden Lions in Pretoria, Golden Lions vs Sharks in Johannesburg and Free State Cheetahs vs Griquas in Bloemfontein. André Watson says: "Jason's appointment to the Final is well deserved as he has been in great form of late."

Nor is it a sudden appointment.

Like Craig Joubert, Steve Walsh and Wayne Barnes, Jaftha started refereeing as a schoolboy, just 15 years of age. "I grew up in a rugby family and since referees did not always show up in Prince Albert I was always the one who refereed the games. It became my way of staying involved with the game."

Prince Albert? A beautiful town over the Outeniqua Pass into the Karroo, on the way to Oudtshoorn. At the foot of the Swartberg, well watered by the Swartberg, it is a delightful place becoming increasingly fashionable. It's a small place and there, now that Outa Lappies Schoeman has died, Jason Jaftha is a hero, its best known inhabitant.

Jason Jamaine Jason was born there (4 May 1985) and at Hoërskool Zwartberg when he started refereeing. He became the head prefect of the school. Now he has been declared an ambassador for Prince Albert, the first town in South Africa to establish a racially mixed rugby team. That was back in 1984 after a visit by Doc Craven, Ian Kirkpatrick and their team.

In 2004 he joined the South Western Districts Referees' Society. Not long afterwards, Jimmy Smith-Belton, a top referee in his day phoned and said: "I have just seen a schoolboy refereeing a provincial match and he's really, really good."

Jaftha was no longer a schoolboy but he was "really, really good" and his progress up the ranks has been unusually rapid - Contenders Squad in 2006, Provincial Panel in 2007 and 2008, and National Panel from 2009 till now when he is a reserve to the Super Rugby Panel. In 2010 he received the SARU award for the Most Promising Referee.

Sevens gave him lots of international exposure and the schoolboy from Prince Albert has refereed at Newlands, Twickenham, Murrayfield, Coca-Cola Park, Loftus Versfeld, Kings Park, Dubai, Delhi for the Commonwealth Games, Tokyo, Hong Kong with its hectic party and sophisticated Las Vegas.

Now, aged only 27, he is refereeing his first big Final in South Africa, in posh Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. He is grateful to the Sevens: "Sevens helped me a great deal. I grew more on the Sevens circuit as a referee - on the field and off the field.

"I'd have loved to have stayed involved in the shortened code of rugby. Hopefully I can make a comeback there but for now I'm looking forward to the Final and to work hard to make a success of it."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26
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