Current Brumbies coach and World Cup winning mentor Jake White has praised SANZAR for their focus on specific areas as well as the interaction the teams and referees have with the organisation, including SANZAR Game Manager Lyndon Bray.

The opening week, where White guided the Brumbies to a win over the Force, was one of the tightest rounds, with the Stormers win over the Hurricanes the only margin into double figures.

Speaking to the Citizen in South Africa, the respected coach said that the tightness came down to the early season teething from franchises.

"The general debate in Australian rugby – it must be much the same in South Africa and New Zealand – is how close the games in the opening round of Super Rugby were and how the referees blew them,” White wrote.

“I would have been surprised if that hadn’t been what happened and I’m really upbeat on both counts.  The results were probably predictable in week one of the competition, with the early season nerves which were bound to be a factor as well as the first step on the road to bedding down combinations in teams where a lot of the playing personnel have changed.”

“Overall, there was the lack of slickness in execution you would expect in the opening round.  The reality for any coach is that you can’t really expect to put out a perfect team on week one much as you would like to.”

This season SANZAR has implemented their ‘Big 5’ priorities, but have further streamlined the judicial process and refereeing transparency with a streamlined system that White recognised as being “revolutionary”.

“But, while the referees have come in for some sharp criticism, I for one have to applaud what they are doing and believe that the interpretations of the laws they are acting on will be hugely beneficial to the game in the longer term,” White wrote.

“Sanzar have installed a truly revolutionary analysis system where coaches can interface directly with director of refereeing Lyndon Bray.”

“The feedback on refereeing interpretations and decisions is phenomenal.  It’s immediate and the Super Rugby referees can listen in to any debate.  You can’t commend them enough for this innovation.”

He said focusing on the priorities, such as offside at that ruck, was aimed at cleaning up the game and he felt SANZAR was on the right path.

“…Sanzar’s referees are only trying to ensure a fair contest,” he wrote.

“Two of the infringements which they cracked down on in the opening week were directly aimed in this direction; clamping down on offsides in front of the last line of feet, and contesting the ball at the breakdown.”

“The first is self-evident, the second a bit more complex and a look at how this aspect has been policed in the past probably gives a better picture of what is happening now.

There was a school of thought that gave the defending team all the rights in a tackle situation, which was followed by another school of thought which held that the tackler should have no rights and should roll away immediately.”

“But the ruling in force now is that you can’t seal the ball off, and my reading of this is that it will lead to a far fairer contest at the breakdown,”

“Precisely what Sanzar and the referees are trying to achieve.”