IRB 7’s referee, Rasta Rasivhenge, chats to guest writer, Benedict Chanakira about his love of sports and traveling the world.
So who is Rasta?
Rasta is a referee who was once a touch player and turned referee as he was small in stature and decided to referee rather than play. This nickname started when I was 13 years old and since then I have inherited it for life I reckon.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in refereeing?
It all started in 2007 when I was at an U19 club game and came off the bench and one of my mates chirped the referee and I confronted him because I thought that the referee was refereeing well. I hung my boots up that day and I spoke to the same referee and got affiliated with the local union.
Referee performances are under severe scrutiny. Is it fair? What do you think of the level of refereeing?
I think that refereeing will always be under scrutiny as one may never please every spectator or fan out there, that is part of the game which makes it interesting. I think the level of refereeing world wide is very good and the ethos is upheld by the refereeing dedicated individuals.
Your highlight in your career?
In 7’s my most memorable rugby experience will have to be refereeing the 7’s final in Hong Kong, Fiji vs New Zealand as this was my first 7’s final and it was one of my best experiences ever. Fiji winning 35-28. In 15’s it has to be the Varsity Cup final earlier this year where TUKS won 29-21.
How do you prepare for a game?
Basically I will do video analysis during the week of the teams I am going to referee. I will then pick out trends and also reflect on my last performance of when I refereed. I will then fuse the two together in order to prepare for the weekend.
Do you have any superstitions?
No I don’t have any superstitions as I am very spontaneous and prefer to just soak in the moment. I adapt to any situation that I am faced with.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself as the most capped and most experienced 7’s referee starting his 15’s career.
As a referee involved in both codes (7’s and 15’s). How do you avoid a mix up in laws?
The laws are the same with just minor changes and both codes help one another so the transition is very easy.
15’s or 7’s ?
I would say 7’s as I love that format of the game so much.
Who is the best captain you have dealt with in a match?
In 15’s I would say Keegan Daniel or Robert Eberson and in 7’s I would say DJ Forbes or Ed Jenkins.
Which Super Rugby match will you never forget?
This has to be the first Super Rugby match I went and watched when I started off- the Cats vs Brumbies.
Which team (s) are difficult to referee?
I think the Cheetahs and Blue Bulls are tough teams to referee.
This has to be Craig Joubert.
This has to be JDV- Jean De Villiers
I don’t have any as I have to be neutral. (Laughs)
Tell us something we wouldn’t expect to know about you?
I always wanted to be an actor or a pilot but due to some circumstances those dreams fell away and my focus shifted as now I have the most amazing career. I feel privileged to be given this opportunity.
Its a pleasure.