Kaplan for Bradby or as a referee educator?
  Published : 11:50 pm  May 19, 2013 | 36 comments | Print This Post  | 0 views

The timing of Kaplan’s arrival has been questioned, and appointing him to officiate the Bradby could deprive a more deserving local referee


World famous South African and IRB (International Rugby Board) referee Jonathan Kaplan will arrive in the island later this month to conduct a referee educator workshop in Kandy and Colombo. However, the timing of Kaplan’s arrival has raised a doubt amongst the rugby fraternity as to whether he is coming to officiate at the Bradby Shield first leg encounter, a move which could essentially deprive a local referee of the opportunity.

A leading referee speaking to the ‘Daily Mirror’ said that there is no doubt that Kaplan is one of the best. Concerns such as our pattern of game and this being an inter-school match must be taken note of. “If the purpose of Kaplan’s visit is to educate referees, he should have been brought earlier in the season. Now the school season is almost over and the club season will kick off only in November this year. We are not happy with the manner in which this matter has been handled,” said the referee.

According to reliable sources Kaplan’s Sri Lanka visit is being negotiated by two old Royalists, one at the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) and the other a committee member of the Sri Lanka s Society of Rugby Football Referees.

Moves of this nature would stifle the opportunities for up and coming local referees. Some of the referees who have done a good job with the whistle this season include Dinka Peiris, Dimithri Gunasekera, Nizam Jamaldeen, Charith Kodagoda and ever reliable Dilroy Fernando. Fernando, who has already indicated that he will officiate his last match, is likely to get the second leg of the Bradby Shield encounter in Colombo on 15 June.

Trinity will lock horns in the 69th Bradby Shield encounter on June 1 at the Pallekele Rugby Stadium which will be also a tournament game in the ongoing Singer League Under 20 tournament.

Kaplan is set to retire from professional refereeing after 21 years at the end of the 2013 South African season. Kaplan who holds a record of 68 Test matches and 99 Super Rugby matches, has officiated in Four Rugby World Cup Tournaments.


36 Responses to “Kaplan for Bradby or as a referee educator?”

  1. Kusal
    on May 20th, 2013 4:58 am

    deprive a local referee of the opportunity???? I’m sure both Royal & Trinity would have Kaplan than one of the local idiots.

  2. Rohan
    on May 20th, 2013 6:44 am

    So what’s the big issue? If he’s the best in the world, let him take the whistle for the Bradby. Can watch a clean game of rugby, not like last year first leg.

  3. Adil
    on May 20th, 2013 8:41 am

    It has all ways been the referee who has spoilt the encounter between the two schools …Last years Bradby ( 1st Leg ) was officiated by some amature and lead to arguments between the two managements .

    If a local referee is to officiate it has to be in the league of Dilroy , Anil ,Nizam or atleast D.Nimal .

  4. Ruvin Peiris
    on May 20th, 2013 12:53 pm

    Adil does not seem to be aware of the rugby seen that much. Dilroy Fernando is retired. Anil Jayasinghe is suspended along with the Vidyartha team, Nizam Jamaldeen’s son is the captain of Royal College and D Nimal is the most controversial referee of the last few years. There was a time when he was specifically put for St. Thomas’s matches when some VIP children were playing.

    I think it is a good thing to have Jonathan Kaplan do not only the bradby, but a few school matches. Of the present set of refereees, the shining light is Dimithri Gunasekera. He seems to be the best out of the current lot.

  5. ishrath laxana
    on May 20th, 2013 2:51 pm

    its a decision of the schools.. having him would be the ideal for a spirited encounter as Bradby.. we all know what happened throughout this season.. atleat we’ll have the opportunity of witnessing a quality game..

  6. Dinal Perera
    on May 20th, 2013 3:42 pm

    Its time to learn from the best……………stop complaining for once and see how top class officials do the game of rugby proud. Been to many games he has officiated over the years and what a pleasure to see good decessions and quality games. Only this way will Sri Lanka produce “World Class” refs and players ………..

    More interaction from the overseas refs/pleyrs are needed if SL rugby is to gain better heights on and off the field!!!!!!

  7. Ruvin Peiris
    on May 20th, 2013 7:13 pm

    Having said all this, it is also important for us to tell the administrators that once they take positions in bodies, please let go of your school connection or favouritism. On paper and on current form, Royal Vs Trinity doesnt require the best of referees. It should have been for Darmaraja Vs trinity, Darmaraja Vs St Peters, Trinity Vs St. peter’s or Wesley Vs Darmaraja etc etc.

    Royal doesnt figure out amongst the top teams. but we all know how influence works in our motherland.

  8. Rasthiyadu Rajadaniya
    on May 21st, 2013 2:02 am

    How can Kaplan officiating a crucial rugby match deprive loacal referee the chance? Almost all of our referees are spineless pottayas who succumb to Rasthiaydu Karaya’s on the field and off the field? Hats off to both Royal and Trinity if they can get this gentlemen to officiate.

  9. Dineshg
    on May 21st, 2013 8:25 am

    Bradby is the march in the calender, and its has always been played in the best spirit, without any doubt. Having Kaplan, and way how the boys of RCC & TCK take the field must be taken as an example. Both these schools uphold sportsmanship, so does other leaders like Kingswood, SACK, SJC, STC, SPC, Wesley. But see what happened to Isipathana, they won the league on technical grounds last year and this year been bottom of the table are blayong like baboons.

  10. John
    on May 21st, 2013 9:29 am

    It’s refreshing and an honour to have a truly worl-class referee to blow at the Bradby and to utilize his expertise on local rugby officiating personnel, which has sadly become mediocre with poliitics and familial influence of prominent officials. What a disgrace that even school matches have become a carnival of thuggery and assaults, with no more heard of disciplinary action followed up to conclusion?!

  11. Ajantha
    on May 21st, 2013 9:32 am

    Dear Ruvin Peiris

    I do not know about your connection to what school , but Bradby is special for us and for both schools this is the most important game it is not the legue Matches its the bradby . ROYAL VS TRINITY game needs the best ref , please do not get all mixed up .

  12. EXPAT
    on May 21st, 2013 10:35 am

    A coin has two sides. One side says it is a great honor for the country that one of the IRB’s TEST Match Refree is coming to SL and maybe refree a match. Dont we all want the best test umpires in cricket to do the job in cricket matches? so why not in rugby. this may be oure jelousy on the part of SL refrees becoz other than Dilroy and Jamal, there is noone who will fit in the top category (even those two are not in the top bracket.)
    On the other side JK is a controvercial ref. particularly disliked by the Australians (JK Is South African). Despite being the most capped ref in IRB panel, he is considereed to be whistle happy and self important.

  13. EXPAT
    on May 21st, 2013 1:48 pm

    To add a little, International refrees nowadays work as a 3some with comm-links. further the touch judges of yesteryear are now called assistant refrees. the modern refree depends a lot on the two assistants to get information regarding various aspects of the game in different places of the field. (line off side, forward pass, crooked throw, collapsing maul or scrum, foul play, dangerous play etc) in addition to waving flags to show a conversion :)
    Having JK without a good supporting cast will only hamper the guy.
    Further at present he is officiating in the super 15 where a new scrum law is being used (crouch touch set). Am not sure if sri lanka also follows this. Just wonder if it will come as a shock to the players his style of refreeing. After all whilst having highest regard to Royal and Trinity, they are not the reds or the Bulls or the Crusaders.

  14. Ajantha
    on May 21st, 2013 11:44 pm

    Dear Expat ,

    Yes Royal and Trinity are not Reds and Bulls of super rugby, I realy
    do not know if you are expact or have no guts spell your name out , our boys from TCK AND RC will for sure understand the New laws we are being coaced by leading overseas traniers who are well conversent in the rules so excuse me you should not redicule our Sri Lankan school boys .

  15. Rohan
    on May 22nd, 2013 6:35 am

    Well said ajantha

  16. Parakrama
    on May 22nd, 2013 9:19 am

    What madness! If a local referee is appointed bringing in a coach from overseas is just madness. This is a school game! Don’t mess with rugby as is done in SL cricket.

  17. Parakrama
    on May 22nd, 2013 9:23 am

    By the way, this is not a matter of the two schools. The National body governing the school rugby league must put their policies down.

  18. Dissanayaka
    on May 22nd, 2013 12:43 pm

    We don’t have good referees with integrity except for Dilroy and Dimithree. Why should schools spend on those inferior and good for nothing guys. Spectators expect a crooked result when they are whistling and their guess is usually true. They never see a forward pass, knock on, off-side…etc when the side they favor. This decision to invite an international referee is highly commendable. Sri Lankans have the right to invite referees they believe and have faith on.

  19. idroos2002
    on May 22nd, 2013 7:17 pm

    Mr Dissanayake plese excuse me i do not agree because all and sundry would do same and the local referees would be completely demotivated .I think its not in the best interets of the local referees

  20. Sir Dude
    on May 24th, 2013 6:21 am

    I think this is a very good idea, If the locals want to referee let them learn and develop, let the best referee officiate the other match!

  21. Kup
    on May 24th, 2013 6:35 am

    Idroos, that’s the best thing to happen at this point. At least they’ll learn a lesson, to do their job right, or they’ll loose their jobs. Not saying bcos of this match, but have seen many he refreed, including a bradby leg which was disastrous. At least refree body shud take necessary actions to improve them by video reviewing their performance in every match and guide them to improve the lacking skills and mistakes.

  22. Aadil riyal
    on May 24th, 2013 11:40 am

    Nizam jamaldeen could blow the 1st legs, with Dilo referring the 2nd leg, and Rimze Jamaldeen the skipper of royal college is not Nizam jamaldeen’s son, Nizam’s son led the team in 2012,
    But it would be more interesting to see a overseas referee control one leg of the Bradby , I’m not under estimating the local referees but most of the referees that we have aren’t capable of refree such a event, the best example is the Royal vs Pathana game such poor referring.

  23. Aadil riyal
    on May 24th, 2013 12:02 pm

    Dear, Mr.Ruvin

    The Bradby is played between RCC and TCK and it is the most anticipated game in the school rugby calendar with no doubt , to a person who is a part of these two schools , the Bradby is the most valuable game in their entire rugby career, then comes the so called league. RCC and TCK will not value a league championship if the Bradby shield does not belong to them. So both the teams wouldn’t mind where they stand in the league table if they could win the Bradby,
    Any Royalist or Trinitian would know what a Bradby win means to them,

  24. Shan Weereratne
    on May 24th, 2013 5:57 pm

    Living in Canberra, Australia, I consider myself a diehard Brums fan and we consider a Waratah v Brumbies encounter as one of the most eagerly looked forward to events in interstate rugby. The Bradby is viewed in the same league and unarguably is the blue ribbon rugby event in SL just like the Roy-Tho in cricket. People of the likes of Mr Parakrama and Ruvin Peiris shouldn’t display their envy just because of their non-affiliation to either Royal or Trinity. It’s simply ridiculous for them to even consider denouncing the notion one of the best referees turning out for the number 1 rugby event in SL. At the end of the day Royal and Trinity are custodians of one of the greatest rugby traditions in Sri Lanka and that certainly pales into insignificance the National Body’s influence.

  25. Thanula
    on May 26th, 2013 7:41 am

    Pls leave the Bradby alone. It is a unique event where you see rugby played the way it should be played. Having played in the Bradby I can assure you that it is an experience I value. Let Royal and Trinity decide matters pertaining to this match. This is not an event to train local refs.
    I certainly don’t want anyone like the one who blew the Royal Issipathana match officiating.

  26. Dissanayaka
    on May 27th, 2013 6:23 am

    Idroos! You deserve an explanation even though it’s too late. “Ganna Ape De” is good for the economy of the country. I don’t care sacrificing quality imported material for low-quality locally made material at the same price. I am patient enough to wait till local technologies improve. However, it’s disagreeable for me to wait till those crooked referees learn rugby and good ethics. Absurd! Let them face the music. This is a great opportunity for local referees learn and improve the game.

  27. EXPAT
    on May 27th, 2013 11:32 am

    @ ■Shan Weereratne : Suspect if many peeps would know who NSW Waratah & ACT Brumbies are mate :)

    Anyways I watched the weekend match between Sharks & Bulls reffed by Kaplan and say it again : JK is whistle happy and plays the role of school principle.

    But better him than Wayne Barnes who managed to spoil the Aviva Premiership Final (Leicester Tigers 37: Northampton Saints 17).

    People who comment against JK just dont know what an honor it is for the best ref in the RU world to blow a match in Sri Lanka.

    Many have this nationalistic attitudes and think the world of our selves. But after his recent visit to Sri Lanka (as brand ambassadore for Fonterra), Ritchie Mccaw (MIB captain) said :

    ”Going to places where nobody knows anything about rugby was really refreshing. It was great to just relax a bit and not worry too much.”

  28. Ruvin Peiris
    on May 28th, 2013 1:35 pm

    Dear Ajantha and Adil,

    Bradby is big for trinity and Royal. No doubt about it. Also will accept the fact that there are great traditions in these two schools.

    But these are not the only two schools that matter. there are so many other schools too. The best referee deserves to get the best matches possible to blow in. and unfortunately Royal does not belong to the “best” tag this year. It does not have to be my opinion. Results show it. Even 9th place St. Anthony’s beat them.

    If the administrators remove their college cloak when they accept designations in sports bodies, they will be able to move above petty thinking and do what is best for Sri Lanka Rugby.

  29. Ruvin Peiris
    on May 28th, 2013 1:41 pm

    I also wish that people look at things objectively. Trinitians have the right to think that Trinity is the best school and so can Royalists think of Royal the same way. Peterites say they are the best as well as Joes will consider their school to be number one.

    When you have a league being conducted, the points table says who is number one and who is number two and who is number 10. Administrators who should be making important calls should be looking at the points table when allocations are done.

    Not where they studied.

    I am sure this comment will come up for much criticism. But deep in your hearts, you will also know that this fact is true.

  30. Thivanka
    on May 28th, 2013 5:16 pm

    I totally agree with Ruvin. As much as Royal and Trinity are good schools, it is absolutely correct that they are only two schools. There are many other outstanding schools too.

    Jonathan Kaplan should have been assigned for a match where the table leaders play. It is also a way of respecting the top performer.

    But I guess to expect the Rugby administrators to see this is a too big an ask.

  31. Apith asai
    on May 28th, 2013 5:24 pm

    Dear Adil Riyal, Trinity Vs Royal is most anticipated match for Royal people and Trinity guys. Not the whole world. If these two schools are so narrow minded to think this is THE most important match and the only match that matters, they can step off the league and play these two matches and be happy. I am agreeing with Ruvin. This match doesnt deserve the internation referee. That chance should have been to leading team and not some mid table team who ran looking for Papa when being hit.

  32. siddi
    on May 28th, 2013 6:31 pm

    Royal getting hit every one start writing. St Josephs, St Anthony’s getting hit, no one writes.

    Darmaraja winning, no one extend respect. Royal loosing, still getting international referee.

    sad country. sad rugger board.

  33. CC
    on May 29th, 2013 4:59 pm

    SLSRFU be fair and dont play favourites…. Royal drafted a master plan to use the Pathana game as a scapegoat so that they can pressure the union pointing out incompetencies of local refs and get a foreign ref to blow the whistle for the Bradby… no one cares that its the Bradby after all its still a league game and SLSRFU should name the ref not let bullies have their way… unless you are prepared to get foreign refs to blow all league games regardless of which school is playing…. if they want to bring their own ref so be it but let it be a friendly and northing to do with the formal league, its sends the wrong message not only to the countries refs but also to the schools involved the you got to be fortunate and privileged for SLSRFU to give you the best . SRSRFU should represent all as equal governed by one code one law one league that’s conmen for all schools involved

  34. Shan Weereratne
    on May 29th, 2013 5:07 pm

    @EXPAT- I personally don’t like JK because of his inconsistencies in the infringement rules interpretation especially against Australian based franchises. However regardless, SL being in a much lower rung in world rugby could only benefit immensely from this experience. It’s sad to note such short sighted comments from many readers who obviously pay scant regard to the betterment of the game in SL. Most readers seem rather ignorant to the fact that it’s the prerogative of either the Royalists or the Trinitians to decide who officiates in their premier rugby event. Most of these petty minded readers are hell bent on denigrating Royal (who obviously are going through a bad season this year by their usual high standards) and seem to be oblivious to Royal’s enviable rugby credentials over past 50 years or so. Only advice I could offer these petty minded souls is to simply grow up.

    When Richie McCaw refers to SL and its people as a foreign entity to the rugby sphere, it’s an indirect insult to our great rugby traditions. In fairness to a great competitor of his calibre, how on earth would he know about Sri Lankan rugby when they seem to be going backwards most of the time? Next time I meet a Kiwi I’ll pretend that RM was referring to India.

  35. Yohan
    on May 30th, 2013 5:26 am

    Jonathan Kaplan as been named as an assistant referee to officiate in the match between Stomers & Southern Kings at Newlands Cape town on 01st of June.

    It will be interesting to see where he will actually turn up.

  36. Adill Hassan
    on May 30th, 2013 9:06 am

    Royal is blessed with taking all 5th grade best students from other schools and best O level passed students from elsewhere to their school. They are not homegrown Royalists, but plugged from a tree elsewhere. As much as it is a good institution, we have to accept that these borrowings make it sound as if they are a great school.

    with regard to the referee, I also beilieve now that the board has not done the right thing.

    If the board also think that Bradby is “IT”, lets cancel all the other tournaments and programs and play the BRADBY only.

    With due Respect to Trinitians, who are least boastful………. please remember it is only the two schools involved in the match who are overly eager. for others, it is just another match.

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