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Fiji Time: 4:25 PM on Wednesday 24 September

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Bolabiu: Refs make mistakes

Luke Rawalai
Thursday, May 29, 2014

TOP whistle blower James Bolabiu says referees are humans and are bound to make mistakes in the heat of the moment while controlling games.

Responding to a controversial decision recently made by International Rugby Board Sevens match official Rasta Rasivhenge during the Las Vegas leg of the IRB competitions this year, Bolabiu said referees were human beings who made decisions based on what they saw.

Speaking during a recent clinic for North referees in Labasa last week, Bolabiu said he would not comment on Rasivhenge's decision.

"Referees cannot be 100 per cent correct at all times and whether the decision made was right or wrong, it does not matter since he is the man running the show at that point in time," he said.

"There have been a lot of comments made against referees' decisions during tournaments and they have been blamed a lot for the demise of a team. The decisions they make are made in seconds and the atmosphere on the ground during a match is very different from that of spectators who are sitting comfortably in the crowd."

Bolabiu said the duty of any referee during any match was to ensure that the match flowed without any major hurdle.

"The most important duty of a referee during any rugby match is change the attitude of players, ensuring that they adhere to the rules of the game.

"The decisions made by referees are also important in determining the outcome of any match."

Bolabiu said the Fiji Rugby Union would conduct more training clinics for referees around the country to improve their knowledge.

"This upskilling exercise is important not only to referees but to players also as the quality of players produced locally depends on the referees who control matches in the local scene.

"Having said this, it is good to see that Fijian rugby players' attitude in both the sevens and fifteens competitions have improved a lot over the years."