15 Feb 2014
On a glittering occasion at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg Jonathan Kaplan was presented with an award as South Africa's Referee of the Year for 2013.
It was the fifth time that Kaplan in his glittering career has received the award for Referee of the Year but it is the most significant one because it will not happen again as he has withdrawn from professional refereeing, continuing with club and school.
Before the award was made, there were images of Kaplan from the young referee to the mature 47-year-old and Kaplan was brought onto the stage as SAU made a tribute to one of its best referees - the referee who has refereed more Tests (70) than anybody else, a referee of uniquely vast experience. In 2013 he ended his career as the emotional referee of the Currie Cup Final at Newlands between Western Province (his home province) and the Sharks who were comfortable winners. Kaplan's refereeing that day was splendid.
Asked the highlights of his career, a difficult question, Kaplan said two things - refereeing Currie Cup rugby and having the chance to referee 'my people' overseas, a South African referee refereeing in foreign lands.
Kaplan is busy on his autobiography at present.
At the ceremony Jean de Villiers was named Player of the Year for the second time and even Etzebeth the Young Player of the Year of the second year in succession.
Try of the Year: Jean de Villiers (vs Wales in Cardiff)
Team of the Year: Pumas of Mpumalanga
Coach of the Year: Jimmy Stonehouse
SA Under-20 Player of the Year: Cheslin Kolbe
SA Sevens Player of the Year: Cornal Hendricks
Women’s Achiever of the Year: Zenay Jordaan
Super Rugby Player of the Year: Adriaan Strauss
Currie Cup Player of the Year: Scarra Ntubeni
Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year: Rosko Specman
Vodacom Cup Player of the Year: Fred Zeilinga
Community Cup Player of the Tournament: Giovano Fourie
Craven Week Player of the Tournament: Grant Hermanus