Society Newsletter

Flags and Whistles – April 2019

St Helens Rugby League Referees Society Newsletter – Edition 35

Three-time debut for Adam Johnson

Having only joined the Society recently, Adam Johnson has shot up the RFL ladder. Adam spent his first season Refereeing Under 9s-11s before being put forward for the RFL Fitness test in 2017. After achieving ‘Match Official Gold Standard’ his first Scholarship TJ game came in March of last year when Leeds Rhinos met Wigan Warriors, Adam was joined by fellow members Tolver Arnold (Ref) and Ryan Cox (TJ) on this fixture. The following week Adam was given his first Super League Academy game. By the end of 2018, the Bangor University student had Touch Judged in both the Betfred League 1 and the Betfred Championship. Meanwhile, Adam’s Refereeing has also been progressing nicely refereeing regularly in the North West Men’s League.

Adam Johnson Refereeing a BUCS match at Bangor University.

2019 has seen Adam make 3 debuts in as many months, the first coming earlier this season in the Kingstone Press National Conference League where Adam took charge of Woolston Rovers v Dewsbury Celtic.

During what was a very busy period for Match Officials, Good Friday saw Adam appointed as Reserve Referee for Warrington Wolves v Salford Red Devils at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, to make his Betfred Super League debut, he was appointed a day later on Easter Saturday, to make his debut at U16s Scholarship level when he refereed St Helens v London Broncos.

Congratulations to Adam!


TV Duty for Denton & Innes

Traditionally the Easter period makes for a mouth-watering weekend of fixtures across the professional game and community game alike with this year being no exception. With members out on games up and down the country, Denton Arnold was appointed to Featherstone Rovers v Toronto Wolfpack at the LD Nutrition Stadium, which was shown live on Sky Sports. A very evenly matched contest saw Toronto score 2 late tries to win the game 14-23. Father, Innes Arnold was also on duty as Reserve Referee. Congratulations to both!

Denton poses with his colleagues ahead of the pre-match national anthems for Featherstone Rovers v Toronoto Wolfapck. Photo by Rob Hare.

Challenge Cup Rounds 4 & 5

Following on from the Challenge Cup success detailed in the previous two newsletters from rounds 1-3 this month saw members appointed yet again to the high profile Challenge Cup games in rounds 4 & 5;

Round 4

  • Thatto Heath Crusaders v North Wales Crusaders *Shown live on BBC Sport* – Phil Smith (Timekeeper)
  • Whitehaven v Rochdale Hornets – Denton Arnold (Touch Judge)
  • Batley Bulldogs v Lock Lane – Innes Arnold (Touch Judge)
  • Workington Town v Newcastle Thunder – Adam Johnson (Touch Judge)

Round 5

  • Thatto Heath Crusaders v Dewsbury Rams *Shown live on BBC Sport* – Innes Arnold (Reserve Referee) & Phil Smith (Timekeeper)
  • Bradford Bulls v Featherstone Rovers – Denton Arnold (Touch Judge)
  • Salford Red Devils v Rochdale Hornets – Craig Smith (In-Goal)
Innes Arnold Touch Judging Batley Bulldogs v Lock Lane in the Challenge Cup. | Photo by BatleyXIII.

April’s Other Notable Appointments

  • UK Armed Forces v GB Police, RFL Presidents Cup – Denton Arnold (Referee)
  • Lancashire v Cumbria, U19s Lions Academy Trials – Denton Arnold & Tolver Arnold (Touch Judges)
  • Yorkshire v Cumbria, U19s Lions Academy Trials – Denton Arnold (Referee) & Tolver Arnold (Touch Judge)
  • Lancashire v Yorkshire, U19s Lions Academy Trials – Tolver Arnold (Referee) & Denton Arnold (Touch Judge)
  • Widnes Vikings v Wakefield Trinity, U19s Academy – Ryan Cox (Touch Judging Debut)
  • Wakefield Trinity v Keighley Cougars, Reserve Grade – Ryan Cox (Touch Judging Debut)
  • Thatto Heath Crusaders v Woolston Rovers Greens, NWC U12s – Nick Hart (Refereeing Debut)
  • Pilkington Recs v Rylands Sharks, NWC U14s – Shaun Pickering (Refereeing Debut)
  • Orrell St James v Halton Farnworth Hornets, NWC U15s – Shaun Pickering (Refereeing Debut)
  • NWC U18s – Mackenzie Maddison (Refereeing Debut)
  • NWC U18s – Stuart Fraser (Refereeing Debut)

Meet Your Referees – Zoe Brown

Name: Zoe Brown

Age: 42

Years Officiating: 1

Highest Levels officiated;
North West Counties Under 9s (Referee)
North West Men’s League (Touch Judge)

Zoe Brown poses for a picture ahead of her first game as a Referee.

Best Moment of your career?

‘When an Under 8s parent came up to me after a game and said how well I’d done, it  made my day!’

Funniest Moment of your career?

‘When I was touch judging and being called “Sir, I mean Miss” by a player, as not many women do this!’

Why would you recommend becoming a Rugby League Match Official to someone?

‘I would say get into refereeing as it teaches you so much about professionalism, keeping fit and meeting people who have things in common with you. Get on the pitch and enjoy it! If I can then anyone can!’

Zoe Brown – Full Member

‘Teammates’ with Daniel Bamber

Dan Bamber Refereeing his first game.

Who is the cleverest member of our Society?
‘I would have to say, Innes Arnold. He always seems to put ideas forward in a very articulate manner.’

Who has the hardest worker in the Society?
‘ I know the question doesn’t solely relate to training but I would have to go with Stuart Fraser who always seems to push himself to go the extra mile.’

Who is the best rugby player in the Society?
‘The jury is still out on this one… but at the moment it’s definitely Craig Smith.’

Who is the worst rugby player in the Society?
‘Ryan Cox! Sorry Ryan, but I don’t think I need to elaborate too much…’

Who is the most organised member of the Society?
‘Denton Arnold. He is always on top of things when providing information/data at meetings.’

Who has the most forgetful member in the Society?
‘Brian Cummings, sorry Brian! I think this one is for you. Always forgetting where clips are saved or even how to work the laptop! .’

Daniel Bamber – Full Member

Development Meeting Update

April’s development meeting focused on urgency around the field, for the first session of the year we were out on the pitch with members simulating a move where the ball was shipped out quickly to the winger. This making the referee work harder to get into the correct position to judge the grounding. We then moved on to positioning at kick offs and goal line drop outs, this being developed to look at where a referee stands in the opening tackle of a set.


Kristian Silcock Takes To The Football Field!

Having been a member of the society for a short time, people would think Kristian Silcock is relatively new to officiating. Whereas Kristian, a local school teacher, has years of experience within a different game, Football. With all this experience behind him, Kristian was appointed to Referee the Integrity Sport League Cup Final at Broadhurst Park between Farsley Celtic and Trafford FC. The game finished 2-1 to the Manchester-based club. Congratulations to Kristian!


Important Upcoming Dates

General Meeting – Tuesday 7th May 2019
Development Meeting – Tuesday 21st May 2019

Future Editions

Please send all future stories to Ryan Cox so these can be added to newsletters.
Please send all notable appointments to Denton Arnold so these can be added to the honours list.

One thought on “Flags and Whistles – April 2019

  1. Great to see so many young people involved. Oh, and oldies like Inness Arnold and Phil Smith 😁😁

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