Jeffrey takes control of second women's final

GLENN MCLEAN
Last updated 05:00 24/10/2013
Lee Jeffrey
ON SIDE: Former Taranaki rugby rep Lee Jeffrey will control her second national women’s final this weekend.

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Former Taranaki representative Lee Jeffrey will referee her second women's provincial championship decider when she takes control of Saturday's final between Canterbury and Auckland at Wellington.

Jeffrey, 37, has been refereeing for 14 years after a series of head knocks forced her to quit the game.

Now based in Hamilton, the former Stratford resident controlled three Taranaki matches this season against Auckland, Waikato and Counties Manukau.

She is ranked the No 2 woman referee in the country behind Nicky Inwood, who is on the International Rugby Board's elite panel.

"I'm trying to break into the IRB panel at the moment," she said.

"Things are going well . . . and I'm just trying to get that exposure to the IRB and get my performance up there."

A Taranaki rep when she was just 16, Jeffrey, nee Frost, had only three years in the game before she suffered her sixth concussion and was told to give up.

Instead of walking away from the sport, she was asked to control a primary schools game and was hooked.

"The following weekend they were short and I ended up doing a high school game and it just carried on from there.

"I absolutely love it.

"Apart from work, it pretty much takes up most of my week between training and going to meetings and all the other stuff that goes with it."

Saturday's final will be the 33rd match she has controlled in 2013, while she has also been the assistant referee at test level and has controlled numerous sevens matches on the IRB circuit.

Her last final was in 2009 when Auckland beat Canterbury.

Former New Plymouth Girls' High School student Kendra Cocksedge is expected to start for Canterbury in the final.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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