The credibility of the referee who will handle the Currie Cup final next week is beyond reproach. The Blue Bulls and the Sharks can rest assured that Jonathan Kaplan will show no favouritism, says former test referee Tappe Henning.
Morris Gilbert writes that Henning, a member of the International Rugby Board’s panel of referees’ assessors, says Kaplan enjoys worldwide recognition as one of the best because he has no preconceived ideas about any team.
“Jonathan makes decisions only on what he sees; not on what he thinks has happened,” Henning said here on Wednesday. “He never guesses and that makes him one of the most accurate referees in the world. The result is that he makes very few mistakes.”
It is nonsense to say that Kaplan does not like the Blue Bulls, he added.
“I have heard about the unhappiness after the 2005 and 2006 Currie Cup finals, in which Jonathan was the referee. The Bulls lost one and the other one was a draw.
PROUD OF HIS JOB
“But few of his critics remember that he was also the referee in the 2002 final when the Bulls beat the Lions 31-7 at Ellis Park.
“In that match, he awarded only six penalties. It shows he will penalise a team only if they transgress the laws; not because he supposedly dislikes them.
“I can say without fear of contradiction that Jonathan is popular with coaches and players alike; not because he is a nice guy, but because he is serious about and proud of his job,” Henning said.
“The captains and their players always know where they stand with him. Along with his accuracy, it enables him to inspire authority and respect.”
Kaplan’s big-match temperament makes his appointment for the final an even better one, Henning said.
“Jonathan is mentally very strong. He is not overwhelmed by the importance of the occasion. The more pressure there is, the more he enjoys it and the better he handles the game.”Tweet