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NZ referee advisor on Rarotonga

Monday August 11, 2014 Written by Published in Rugby Union
Matt Peters and CI Rugby CEO Ben Koteka, consider a rules interpretation. 14081102 Matt Peters and CI Rugby CEO Ben Koteka, consider a rules interpretation. 14081102

Part reconnaissance, part promotion and part hands-on training – that’s how Kiwi rugby referee advisor Matt Peters describes his role during a week-long visit to Rarotonga this week.

Peters, an IRB trainer, says he’s not exactly sure what has been done in the past to up-skill referees here, so he will be looking at what is the appropriate level to pitch training and development of referees at.

He’s also keen to promote the concept of refereeing, with a view to encourage more people into the role.

Peters says he will be working with coaches and teams as well as referees because it is important that those playing the game know what the rules are and why a referee is making the rulings he does.

He says most Cook Island players and referees should be up to speed with the current laws of the game, but he sees value in clarifying the laws relating to scrums, lineouts and tackling. A lot of emphasis is going into these areas to lessen the risk of serious injury, as well as speed up the game.

“This is especially true in the post-tackle area. Concussion has received a lot of media attention in other codes and rugby is keen to avoid the same press.

“NZ Rugby is taking a really progressive stance on this and treating the issue with a lot of care.”

Peters is a former Horowhenua-Kapiti rep player who turned to refereeing nearly 20 years ago after sustaining an injury that ended his playing career.

He was on the NZ Rugby Union national referees panel for nine years, officiating in first class fixtures, but has since retired from active whistling.

While this is his first visit to Rarotonga, he has played an active role in referee development in Samoa.

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