Shorty, you may award the try!

Black Fern Selica Winiata to be a referee on HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series

I have been following the Women’s Sevens Series for a while now, all started with the Netherlands desperately trying to be part of that. More than 15s I like how the countries have Different styles and approach the game in their own way. Also fun to watch the coaches/unions built the program and see how selections evolve.

Having played at Full-Back my-self I have a special interest for players on this position. Selica Winiata is one of my favourites: speedy, good body position over the ball, fearless, clever and hard working, like her attitude.

So, clearly surprised – and happy – to see her on the Dubai Sevens (“hey, isn’t that Shorty?”). Of course I missed the news article, read it afterwards.

It was fun to find out her nickname, we were watching the video of the jersey presentation of the squad to play the last world cup and the Team Manager was taking pictures of all the individual players. When Selica walked off with her she was told “Shorty! Stay!”

Dubai Sevens 2019

So, how did she do as a ref? I think very good overall, I liked how she ran great support lines as a rugby player, staying close on the action and “level” with the ball for spotting that forward pass. This might bring you in a difficult spot sometimes, because players love to attack the space around the referee. This happened in the Bronze Medal Match. Also, I asked myself if split decision making for referees is different for players. Players “just” react to what is happening in front of them, until the Refs blows the whistle. Different for referees who have to check against that rule book – assume this will gets automated too. In the Youtube video she mentions that as police officer she has to make decions, so there you go!

Anyways, Selica Winiate – new career as referee and off to a great start. Will be interesting to see this progress!

And of course the TMO confirming her on field decision “Shorty – you may award the try”.


Image from World Rugby

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