2 weeks in….

… and what have I learnt?

Well that we officials are already under the spotlight (see results so far in the Championship!) and we’re having to make sure our accuracy is well near perfect!

Breakdown – The new interpretations (not laws!) certainly make life a little easier – well, at least for me as I have a pretty clear picture in my mind of what is allowed to happen, who is allowed to do what, and how I can best communicate it. This does mean that the line about us getting to the breakdown quickly is ever more important. Thank goodness for those darned PT sessions and all the hard work put in during the last few weeks .

Scrum – new engagement sequence helps. Must stay firm on the Pause. Think my analysis this week of last weekend will show a slip from the week before.  Dichotomy between what we’re supposed to do, and whether there’s any impact if they both go in early but scrummage well. I’m generally in the “leave them to it”  camp, but in the interests of consistency Im sure I need to change that pronto!

Players – don’t know if this is just early season excitedness, but Im getting a feeling of much more positivity around the park in my first few games. Makes the standout negative plays more definite to deal with and in last 2 Championship games Ive had two of the easiest Yellow Cards to dish out you’ll ever see.  One DOR was criticised for saying his player ‘took one for the team’ but I guess that’s what these pro’s do.  And helps with our new mantra of “Clear and obvious”.

Comms kit – hoorah, we have some really great new comms kit which Im liking rather a lot. We refs are on an open mic system where the ARs can hear me all the time and they press to talk when they have something for me. Pic here of one [handsome] Champ referee with the Madonna look!

So far, they’ve worked really well and from the AR feedback I’ve had, it really benefits them as they can hear me dealing with things (or not) so they know what input they need to make. They’re the same as they use in the Premiership so hopefully they’ll last OK.

Well – that’s it for me now. Some early thoughts with 2 pre-season friendlies and 2 league games under my belt. Questions anyone?