Jonathan Kaplan

About Jonathan Kaplan

Jonathan Kaplan is South Africa's most celebrated and respected rugby referee, breaking and setting various world records. His experience is undisputed having overseen 107 super rugby games (the first and only referee to reach this milestone), 70 test matches ( the man to pass the 50 mark), 161 currie cup games (the first man to pass the 150 mark) and 425 first class games (setting another remarkable world record). To top it off, he has also spent 21 years on South Africa's refereeing panel.Now retired from active refereeing, he is focusing on writing his book, enjoying some horse racing and spending quality time with his dogs. In his spare time, he has agreed to weigh in on referees' performances each week, providing insight into controversial calls and a first-hand understanding of what it's like to make those calls on the day. With credentials like his, we think you should sit up and listen!

Kaplan’s Comments – RWC delivers its first hammer blow

Lots to discuss this week as RWC delivered its first hammer blow

First I want to complement the organisation and attention to detail in the first game I watched between Canada and France. Played at Milton Keynes, it was my first experience of this RWC and it really was a fantastic occasion. […]

October 6th, 2015|

Kaplan’s Comments – Selectors will never please all

rugby-world-cup-2015-logoThere was a bit of Currie Cup rugby and a test match, which was of interest to me in particular, but probably the most important thing from a Bok perspective was the announcement of the team to represent SA at the RWC in England. There is always […]

September 2nd, 2015|

Kaplan’s Comments – World Cup Preparations

rugby-world-cup-2015-logoMany international teams from the North are busy fine-tuning their teams for the upcoming RWC. Scotland and France pulled off narrow wins over Italy and England respectively, and Ireland and Wales will battle it out next week. These games are important as there isn’t much time left […]

August 27th, 2015|

Kaplan’s Comments – The Rugby Championship Round 3

Argentina_celebrate_Kings_ParkLast week there was a short hiatus in the Championship and even though the Currie Cup is in full swing, the main game on the calendar was probably the schools derby between Paarl Gym and Boyshaai. I have done three of those fixtures, and they are always […]

August 12th, 2015|

Kaplan’s Comments – The Rugby Championship Round 2

Richie_McCaw_New_Zealand_v_South_Africa_Rugby_Championship_2015I went up to Zimbabwe to participate in Peterhouse’s 60th anniversary celebrations and referee their match against Falcon. Friday night was a wonderful occasion with Gary Teichmann the guest speaker and comedian Nik Rabinowitz providing the laughs for the better part of an hour.

It’s amazing to see […]

July 27th, 2015|

Kaplan’s Comments – Super Rugby 2015 Final

Highlanders_players_lift_Super_Rugby_trophyWhat a magnificent game of rugby that was. The Final is often not all it is cracked up to be, but this was an exception… Perhaps the undersell contributed, but there was heaps of over delivery! It was a stunning game brimming with the pace, inventiveness and […]

July 5th, 2015|

Kaplan’s Comments – Semi Finals 2015

TJ_Perenara_Hurricanes_BrumbiesIt was another much anticipated weekend in Super Rugby as the long, drawn out (but shortened) season reaches its climax. It was a pity there was no South African team in the semis, but in truth, they have not been good enough. The Stormers had a home […]

June 30th, 2015|

Kaplan’s Comments – Super Rugby Playoffs

Joe_Tomane_Brumbies_try_v_Stormers We had two competitive Super Rugby matches this weekend to mark the start of the play-offs.

In the first, the Highlanders were undoubtedly the strong favourites given how they dismantled the Chiefs a few weeks previously. It was a tough game, with no quarter asked. The Chiefs […]

June 24th, 2015|

Kaplan’s Comments – Super Rugby Round 17 Part 1

Jerry-Collins-1200This weekend started off on a very sad note with the tragic passing of one of my favourite characters in the game Jerry Collins, who died in a car crash together with his wife in France. One of the toughest men out there, he had a no-nonsense […]

June 5th, 2015|

Kaplan’s Comments – Super Rugby Round 15

Stefan_Ungerer_Sharks_scrum-halfThe Bulls did amazingly well to front up early and bounced out to a deserving 12 point lead in the first game of this weekends fixtures against the Chiefs

OR ..

The Bulls fortuitously found themselves 2 tries in front of the favorites the chiefs after some […]

May 22nd, 2015|

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