28 Jun 2015
Jaco Peyper of South Africa has been appointed to referee the Final of Super Rugby 2015. He will thus be heading for Wellington, New Zealand for this great match.
When he heard of the appointment on Sunday, Peyper was understandably excited, as was André Watson, South Africa's refereeing boss.
Peyper, a Bloemfontein lawyer, is no stranger to finals. On his way up the refereeing ladder, when he was doing mainly Under-19 matches, he refereed the provincial Under-19 Final. When he was further up the ladder, he refereed the Under-21 Final. Then higher still, he refereed the Vodacom Cup Final. Then in 2012 he refereed the Currie Cup Final and now the Super Rugby Final.
It is the 23rd Super Rugby Final since the first one in 1993. Of the 22 finals already refereed South African referees have refereed 14 - André Watson five, Jonathan Kaplan and Craig Joubert three each and Freek Burger, Tappe Henning and Mark Lawrence one each. Peyper will be the sixth South African referee to referee a Final.
Peyper is now on the way to being a vastly experienced referee - after 22 Tests, 60 Super Rugby matches and 55 Currie Cup matches.
Then later this year he will be one of the 12 referees chosen to referee the World Cup Final.
The appointment was made by SANZAR and clearly the four referees who refereed the qualifying matches and semifinals were in serious consideration for the Final - Chris Pollock and Glen Jackson, Craig Joubert and Peyper.
And Peyper was the one chosen
In 2014 Peyper refereed the match in Wellington between the Hurricanes and the Highlanders when the Highlanders won 18-16. That was the year he refereed the semifinal between the Waratahs and the Brumbies.
This year, in Napier, he refereed the emotional match between the Hurricanes and the Highlanders just after the great Jerry Collins had been killed in a motor smash in France. That was in Round 17 on 5 June 2015 when the Hurricanes blew the Highlanders away, winning 56-20.
If one judges the way the teams play, it would seem that this could be the most active, exciting Super Rugby Final of all time.