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Mahoney up for national award

By Gary Caffell

Wairarapa-Bush’s Rebecca Mahoney is one of three finalists for the Referee of the Year trophy at the New Zealand rugby awards to be held in Auckland on December 15.

Her selection alongside last year’s winner Glenn Jackson (Bay of Plenty) and Richard Kelly (Taranaki) is further evidence of the huge impact former Black Fern Mahoney — twice a World Cup winner — has made since joining the refereeing ranks fulltime in the 2015 season.

Since then Mahoney has controlled two grand finals of the national women’s inter-provincial tournament, became the first female referee to control a domestic first-class men’s fixture in New Zealand by officiating at the under-19 national tourney, made her debut on the world sevens panel in Dubai and on December 15 she will referee a 15-a-side women’s international for the first time when she has charge of the Japan v Hong Kong match in Hong Kong.

Mahoney herself was not available for comment yesterday but in past interviews with the Times-Age she has said her experiences as a player have been a huge help to her as a referee, particularly when it comes to visualising what teams are trying to do before they actually do it but, at the same time, she has also found there are major differences too.

“Refereeing is a lot about player management, you are out there to ensure the players are given a fair go and can enjoy the game so the quicker you get them on side the better for everyone.

“Communication is so important, if you get that right everything else pretty much falls into place.”.

Typically too, Mahoney is always looking to share the praise for her refereeing successes, being quick to point to the help and encouragement given her by Wairarapa-Bush Rugby Referees Association officials and also the national body.

“The encouragement has been fantastic.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

“It hasn’t all been me, that’s for sure, there’s been a heck of a lot of help along the way.”

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