Two top rugby referees do UKZN proud

2013-10-24 00:00

THE University of KZN alumnus Craig Joubert and Stuart Berry officiated in last Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup match between the All Blacks and the Wallabies, which is surely a world first for a university campus as well as for a local referees’ sub-society.

Both are UKZN Pietermaritzburg campus graduates and both learnt their trade as fledgling members of the Midlands Rugby Referees’ Sub-Society.

Joubert wielded the whistle while Berry was the assistant referee for this Test match won by the All Blacks.

Berry has been further honoured by the International Rugby Board in his first assignment as referee of a tier one IRB Test match, which will be the All Blacks’ opener of their November tour, against Japan.

A BSc (Hons) in conservation studies graduate and more recently the recipient of an MSc in hydrology, Berry has spent many years on the Pieter­maritzburg campus and remains active in UKZN alumni affairs, having served on the UKZN Rugby Club centenary committee as well as acting as compere at Varsity Shield matches at his alma mater.

As a member of the Midlands Rugby Referees’ Sub-Society, Berry learnt his trade officiating in club matches in KZN, a learning curve which the Hillcrest High School product asserts “contributed hugely to where I have managed to get to now”.

Berry follows a long line of successful UKZN referees, a list that includes Roger Sheppard, the current UKZN Rugby Club PMB campus chairperson, as well as BCom honours graduate Joubert, who exchanged a career in financial management for the life of a full time referee, for which he holds the unique distinction of having officiated as a referee in a Super Rugby final, a Currie Cup final and a World Cup final.

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