‘Jonker’s accolades legendary’

2014-11-01 00:00

SOUTH Africa’s refereeing boss André Watson has heaped praise on Marius Jonker, who retired from refereeing earlier this week.

“Marius has built up a legendary status and his record of achievements speaks for itself,” Watson told the SA Rugby Referees website.

“To me, he was even better than the accolades he received. He was a players’ referee and gave the game what it demanded and deserved for 80 minutes every time he went onto the pitch.

“He will be missed, but I am happy that he is willing to plough back into the game by being willing to take up the TMO role.”

This year, 45-year-old Jonker had a taste of playing TMO and hopes to be more involved in that sphere in the future.

In 2013, he withdrew from international rugby and became very much a referee in South Africa, before taking charge of one more international when he refereed Namibia against Germany in Windhoek on Wednesday night.

It was the 25th Test of his illustrious career. The only South African referees who have refereed more Tests are Watson, Jonathan Kaplan, Craig Joubert and Mark Lawrence.

Possibly the highlights of Jonker’s Test career were Australia vs New Zealand, two Calcutta Cup matches, New Zealand vs Scotland and France, and Ireland vs Australia.

Besides the Tests, there were numerous Super Rugby and Currie Cup matches.

He has been a familiar figure on the rugby fields, with his accurate, calm and good-humoured way of refereeing, making him one of the top 10 referees in South Africa.

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