The association sent over four referees to coach the local referees and help in the running of the annual international meet which was held from Thursday to Saturday at the BCI Stadium in Nikao.
Auckland-based referee coach Steve Salton said he noticed some improvements in local referees when compared to their performance in the past couple of years.
In lead-up to the tournament, Salton challenged the Rarotonga referees to step up and officiate at least a semi-final at the Raro Rugby Sevens.
Teokotai “Billy Bush” Tuaivi stepped up to the challenge and officiated one of the semis on Saturday.
“I think over the last couple of years there has been definitely some improvements especially Billy coming through to officiate in the semifinal this year and he did a great job,” Salton said.
“The harder thing to change, I think, is the mindset of the spectators about the referees. They think they are associated to the teams, they are not. It’s just simple as that.”
Peter Willis, who now has officiated at the local tournament seven times, was pleased with the standard of competition at the event.
He was also pleased to see some top quality players playing at the Raro Rugby Sevens.
Willis is calling on interested locals to join the national referees’ panel and help support the development of the sport in the country.
In the meantime, the Auckland-based referees are looking forward to returning to the Raro Rugby Sevens next year.