QRU Pathway Development Squad meets

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by Rod O’Callaghan

On Saturday the 1st of March 2014, the QRU SRC Pathway Development Squad of referees and referee coaches gathered for the first of many education days that are being held in 2014. The purpose of the session was to hear and learn from some of the most senior and experienced referees and referee coaches in Queensland with an end goal of aiding and assisting our development as match officials in 2014. The morning was structured around 6 key topics.

The Pathway Development squad managers, Peter Gofton and Dick Byres, kicked off proceedings with a welcoming message and brief refresher of the ARU Referee/referee coach profiles. Dick asked us to all conduct an honest appraisal of where we thought we were sitting in regards to the profiles with the end goal of re-visiting our results at the end of the season to see how we had improved as match officials. 

The First presenter of the morning was Brisbane Premier Grade Rugby Referee Luke Maloney. Luke covered Assistant Refereeing and how to be an effective Assistant Referee. The presentation contained a number of clips outlining various scenarios one might encounter as an AR. Luke walked us through the clips, provided tips and answered various questions about Assistant Refereeing from both the referees present and the referee coaches.

The second presentation of the morning centred on the contest at the tackle, arguably the most crucial and complex area of our game. The presenter for the morning was one of the senior Brisbane Premier Grade Rugby Referees, Paul Haydock.  Paul, like Luke’s presentation prior, provided us with a vast array of clips of situations that may occur in and around the tackle contest. Paul challenged us to voice our opinions on some of the clip scenarios before revealing what the correct decisions should be and the methodology behind them. Paul reminded us of the importance of getting the tackle contest as referees right, while also ensuring that we maintain a degree of player empathy and common sense in our application of the law.

After a short break the focus of the session centred on the Scrum and the new engagement cadence. Shaun Rigby, a Senior Brisbane Grade Referee and former representative front rower provided the expert voice on the subject. Shaun’s presentation differed from others in the morning in that he used practical demonstrations instead of video clips to illustrate his points. As most pathway development squad referees and coaches had never played in the front row, it was certainly an eye opener. Despite being the shortest presentation of the day, Shaun provided us with some easy to identify ‘triggers’ to look for at the scrum and suggested some ‘plans’ that as officials we could try to employ to try and achieve a good scrum outcomes during games.

The last presentation of the day was about Goal Setting. Greg Milne, a Senior Brisbane Grade Referee, walked us through the process of setting realistic short and long term goals as well as explaining the difference between Goals with outcomes that we can control and goals with outcomes that we cannot. The key message that Greg tried to convey to us was to be realistic with our goals and to constantly re-assess our progress towards goals, making alterations as necessary.

After a brief conclusion from Peter Gofton the day concluded. Thanks must go to the SRC Squad managers Peter Gofton and Dick Byres for organising the education day for the Pathway Development Squad as well as the Presenters Luke Maloney, Paul Haydock, Shaun Rigby & Greg Milne for giving up their time to come and talk to us.