Tappe Henning answers Bulls SOS on referee interpretations

Tappe Henning answers Bulls SOS on referee interpretations

Bulls coach Jake White has called in veteran South African referee Tappe Henning to assist the team with the differences in refereeing interpretations in the United Rugby Championship.

Jake White on Breakfast with martin bester
Source: Supplied/Vodacom Bull

Henning has been working in rugby in the United Kingdom for the past eight years. 

He will join the team in Cardiff for the next few days. 

White has also offered Sharks coach Sean Everitt, whose team is also based in Cardiff at present, the opportunity to use Henning’s services.

The South African teams have been struggling to come to terms with the differences in northern hemisphere versus southern hemisphere refereeing during the first two rounds of the tournament.

“Before this competition, we spent time with the South African referees to try and get us ready for what to expect up north. As it turns out, it hasn’t been what we thought it would be. So I reached out to Tappe to come and watch our game against Cardiff Rugby, and then advise us on where we need to adapt,” said White.

“As the Vodacom Bulls we’re using our resources as effectively as we can, and we’re happy to help out the Sharks if we can as well.”

Henning admits that there is going to need to be a level of adaptation from both the SA players and the northern hemisphere referees.

“I think right from the start it’s important to understand that as a result of Covid, we didn’t have the opportunity as referees and coaches to all come together before the launch of this new competition and have that meeting of minds before it kicked off to agree on how the tackle will be blown, what is expected at lineouts and at mauls, and so on.

“That being said, there are obvious differences that the South African teams are faced with. For a start, the players are being presented with referees they’re not used to, and referees who speak with different accents that can sometimes be difficult to understand, especially when they speak as quickly as they do. The manner in which they deliver their message to the players is different to what the South Africans are used to.”

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