REFEREES IN CURRIE CUP FINALS
SINCE 1889 MEN HAVE BEEN REFEREEING SOUTH AFRICA’S INTERPROVINCIAL MATCHES. 128 YEARS LATER JACO PEYPER HAS THE PLUM MATCH OF THE YEAR.
He is not new to the final, as it is his third, but always a huge honour for anybody appointed to this match.
The Currie Cup was added in 1892 as an award for winning the provincial tournaments which were played mostly as centralised tournaments, later in league and various other formats. There was not a Final till 1939 and then Finals were sporadic till 1968, since when there has been a Final each year.
Refereeing the Currie Cup Final is cherished by referees as it is cherished by players who play in it. After all there is only one a year.
Eddie Hofmeyr, Ralph Burmese, Steve Strydom, Freek Burger and Mark Lawrence refereed more Tests than Currie Cup Finals. André Watson is the only referee in South Africa to be appointed to referee seven Currie Cup Finals. He refereed 27 tests, only seven Currie Cup Finals. Tappe Henning refereed 20 tests, one Final. Mark Lawrence refereed 27 Tests and just two Currie Cup Finals. Gert Bezuidenhout referee three Tests and two Currie Cup Finals. Jonathan Kaplan refereed 70 Tests but only five Finals. Peyper has refereed 40 Tests and this is his third Currie Cup final.
On the other hand Jimmy Smith-Belton refereed no Tests but three Currie Cup Finals while his contemporary and Eastern Province colleague, Frans Muller, refereed three Tests and no Currie Cup Finals.