Red card for abusive coach
A Timaru Boys' High School assistant coach has received the longest suspension in South Canterbury rugby history for abusing a referee.
After appearing before the judiciary Allan Judd was given a 12-week suspension for abusing the young match official in an under-14 game.
Judd was suspended from July 5, the day his side took on another Timaru Boys' High School team. The referee in the match was also a pupil at the school.
A player who was also red-carded for abuse in the same match received an eight-week suspension.
His suspension can be reduced to six weeks if a restorative process is completed to the satisfaction of the South Canterbury Rugby Referees Association.
A second player, who was yellow carded, also received a two-week suspension, which can be reduced to one if the same process is followed.
A charge of abuse against a second coach was not proven.
Judd, who is the parent of a player in the team, remained unrepentant yesterday.
He did, however, confirm he abused the referee.
"The rugby referees were out of line putting a 15-year-old boy in charge of the game.
"He was biased and incompetent. I think there were 17 penalties in the first 20 minutes, all against one side, us.
"The ref's father was also intervening in the game."
Judd said some of the accusations made against him and his co-coach at the judiciary were absurd.
Timaru Boys' High School rector Nick McIvor said he believed the union acted appropriately to strengthen good conduct in secondary school rugby.
"The school will, in the next week, be deciding what further steps to take to reinforce respect, individual responsibility, and high standards in rugby."
South Canterbury Rugby Union acting chairman Stephen McFarlane said it was always disappointing when they had to go through a judicial process.
He believed there were no ongoing issues with referee abuse.
"Clearly a visit to almost any team sport venue on a Saturday will find coaches and spectators who are only too willing to share their views with the referee and often it is uninformed."
McFarlane said it was not just a rugby phenomenon.
"Rarely does that rise to the level of abuse and a judicial process, however."
McFarlane was not surprised by the age group involved.
"There will be emotions and competitiveness in play at any age level."
The Timaru Herald