IT’S not only the players fighting to keep their grand final hopes alive when the Blowes Clothing Cup finals start this weekend.
The referees also have the season-ender in mind.
Central West Rugby Union Referees Association (CWRURA) president Fred Boog said the top eight referees in the region have been appointed to this weekend’s games.
“For refs, it’s just as big of a challenge,” Boog said of the finals.
The president said he had been impressed with the work ethic of the referees during the 2014 season, none of whom are paid to officiate games.
“The referees do a training night at Molong on Wednesdays,” he explained.
“We’ve got people who are striving and they’re coaching each other to achieve higher. They’re helping each other out. These guys are champing at the bit to get the grand final.”
Boog said referee development had been a key focus this season.
However, they all know the focus shouldn’t be on them when they’re on the field.
“The pressure might be on the players, but it’s on the refs too,” he explained.
“They have to make sure the players get a good game of rugby.”
Orange’s Peter Egan will referee Saturday’s first grade qualifying semi-final between Orange Emus and Orange City at Endeavour Oval.
Bathurst’s Nathan Pearce will officiate Sunday’s elimination semi-final between Bathurst Bulldogs and Forbes.