Forum at Taibach stimulates rugby discussion

The last meeting of the season for the Ospreys Referees Society saw them team up with the region's Coach Development team to host a very successful and entertaining Rugby Forum held at Taibach RFC, recently, with referees and coaches from across Ospreylia in attendance.

A panel consisting of Clive Rowlands, OBE, former Welsh captain, coach, administrator, WRU President and British Lions manager; Nigel Owens, IRB Panel Referee; Ospreys pair Ryan Jones and Cai Griffiths; Gruff Rees, Ospreys Coach, and Tony Thomas, Ospreys Coach Development Officer. Asking the questions was Phil Steele from BBC’s Scrum V programme.

The topic under discussion on the evening was “The difference between Referees and Coaches”, with the panel answering questions from members amongst which were, ‘How important is it for the coach and the referee to know and understand each other’s job?’ ‘Is rugby in 2012 still a game for all shapes and sizes?’ ‘Do coaches profile referees before a game?’ ‘Should the scrummage be de-powered?’ and ‘Should the number of players per team be reduced?’.

The answers from the Panel were honest, thought provoking and on occasions, entertaining and witty; Clive Rowland’s interpretation of the Law applicable to putting the ball into the scrummage was particularly novel and unusual!

The ORS President, Clive Norling, gave a vote of thanks to all the panellists for giving freely of their time and for entertaining the members who were present. As a token of ORS’s appreciation, each panellist was presented with a WSRUR tie and a bottle of red wine. The meeting involving referee and coaches followed on from the highly successful joint-meeting held in February on the Advantage Law presented by James Jones. The ORS executive committee would like to thank Tony Thomas of the Ospreys, in particular, for all his help and encouragement in getting referees and coaches within the region to try and sing from the same hymn sheet.

For season 2012/2013, the ORS executive committee will be aiming to organise topics for meetings which will not only meet the expectations of all members but will also continue to provide development and training for both referees and coaches within the Ospreys Region.

Andrew Hore, Chief Operations Officer, Ospreys Rugby, commented:

“This partnership between the Coach Development team at the region and the Ospreys Referees Society is a fantastic example of the joined-up thinking that is essential if we are creating sustainable success at the region. To get different elements of the rugby community working together like this can only help to create better understanding between all parties. Referees can empathise better with players and coaches about the technicalities of the game and how their interpretations can impact on them, while it allows the coaches who were present to take away some fresh thoughts from the referees view that they can use when working with their players. It all helps to raise standards in the game throughout Ospreylia, which can only be a positive.”