Former Lion JP’s bro to officiate VC final - Lions rugby

Former Lion JP’s bro to officiate VC final

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31st May 2021

Morné Ferreira has been appointed as the referee for the final of the Varsity Cup that takes place later today.

Other memorable and big matches include the Dubai International Invitational 7’s finals I refereed in 2017 (SA Academy vs Speranza 22) and in 2018 (SA Academy vs Ireland).

Morné Ferreira has been appointed as the referee for the final of the Varsity Cup that takes place later today.

The 27-year-old referee is part of the Golden Lions Rugby Union Referee’s Society but his ties with the Lions goes even deeper. His brother JP Ferreira is a former Strength and Conditioning coach of the Lions.The Lions are very proud of Morné and the journey his refereeing has undertook to bring him to this, the biggest match of his career thus far.

We had a quick chat with Morné ahead of today’s big game.

  1. Congratulations with your appointment as referee for the VC final. Is it fair to say that this is the biggest match to date that you have officiated?

Yes, this is definitely one of my biggest matches that I have refereed to date. Other memorable and big matches include the Dubai International Invitational 7’s finals I refereed in 2017 (SA Academy vs Speranza 22) and in 2018 (SA Academy vs Ireland).

  1. When did you start your career as a referee and how did it come about?

I started refereeing in 2013, my first year out of high school. I had a series of injuries that prevented me from a lot of opportunities in my grade 11 and grade 12 years. I had a long discussion with my brother JP Ferreira whether I should go into coaching like him or what I should do. And he suggested refereeing. I gave it a shot and never looked back.

  1. Where did you go to school and what occupation are you pursuing?

I went to Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (Affies). And I have a Masters degree in Neuro and Exercise Physiology. I am currently the Business Development Manager at Axiology Labs, a lab equipment and consumables supplying company.

    1. If you had to pick a referee in world rugby that you looked up to, who would it be and why?

    Since I started refereeing, I always looked up to Craig Joubert and Jaco Peyper.  Both are top referees in world rugby. From Craig I always appreciated his communication and calmness on the field, while I love Jaco’s style of refereeing and his understanding of the game. All these aspects I try to bring into my own style and brand of refereeing.

    1. Do you have any pre-game rituals that you believe in?

    No not really. I tend to take myself a little bit away before the game. Just to get calm and get into game mode. I have a series of songs I listen to which help me get my mind calm and ready.

    1. The toughest match you have officiated in, to date?

    Wits vs UJ last round of Varsity Cup this year. Big local derby which always spices things up.

    1. What do you expect of this VC final?

    I think this is the ultimate final, especially after their round 6 fixture was cancelled because of Covid. I was also appointed to referee that game. So, this is the ultimate rematch as they have not faced each other this year. Both teams have a very good pack which they will try and use to their advantage. So, we can expect a fierce battle at scrum time and also in the mauls. There will also be a lot of kicking as both teams have excellent kickers in their team. And it will be typical finals rugby where the players will want to play for territory and try and put the other team on the back foot.

    1. Referees need to be very fit. Do you have a rigorous training program to stay fit?

    Yes, we have very high fitness standards to achieve throughout the year. Therefore, throughout the week I spend a lot of time on my fitness, speed, and agility. I also work hard on my overall strength and conditioning as well as visual skills and reaction drills to improve my neuro-agility and decision-making under pressure.

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