The objective of a referee is not to get mentioned. I tell a lot of young referees that not being mentioned is king. If you can achieve that, that then it has been a pretty good game.
The scrum and the tackle are the two really contentious areas of the game. If you get those two aspects right, most rugby matches will work in your favour.
I have three tools at my disposal - my whistle, my body language and my talk. It is a question of how I marry them up to try to get the players around to my way of thinking.
I do my own analysis on the teams I am refereeing. I will know some of the personalities, the players who could be difficult customers in a scrum situation, the ones I am going to have to really work hard on early in the game to get what I want.
I could give 48 penalties in every match if I wanted to. It is a question of sometimes choosing what is - in your own mind - of material importance and what isn't, what might be a crucial potential penalty and what might not be.
Coaches will do what they can but it doesn't necessarily bother me. You are an international referee for a reason. If things like that are going to ruffle your feathers, don't bother doing the job.
My job is to persuade people to toe the line and play within the laws of the game.
But then southern hemisphere teams are more skilful than their northern hemisphere counterparts, which means games can be easier to referee.
Coaches do so much research about a referee because they believe refereeing is such a crucial part of the game that the result may hinge on what we say or do. They probably know more about me than I know myself!
If at first you don't succeed, get a bigger hammer.
Failure comes when you don’t listen. You can’t put something out there and assume it’s great. It’s up to us to make sure we’re listening to improve our chances for success-if not this time, next time.
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