Scott Spittles Awarded Highest Honour At Medal Referees Presentation

Lili Robinson, Charli Berghuaser & Kailey-Jade Redoblado (L to R) with WARLRA Referee Coordinator Sam McCarthy

One of the truest quotes in sport that the industry always falls back on is –

“We wouldn’t have a game without them”

Of course we are referring to our great referees and officials. The people who get given the most thankless job on the field. Do a good job and normally there are no accolades or parties for these crucial pieces of the puzzle for rugby league. And in WA we are lucky to have a dedicated and stalwart group of people in our refereeing and officiating ranks. Our season extends so far, from February for junior representative games, till the start of November when Harmony Cup finally wraps up our season.

On the weekend the Referees presentation took place at George Burnett Park, Karawarra, the home of the South Perth Lions, and it recognised both our Junior and Senior referees from the 2022 season.

NRL WA Operations Manager Caleb Reedy & Ewan Maggio

Firstly, Our Junior Referee Coaches Awards of the year for 2022 was split. And it was 3 young ladies leading the way this season for a an amazing first year in the refereeing ranks. A huge shout out to Kailey-Jade Redoblado, Lily Robinson and Charli Berghauser who came into the referee ranks this season and really lead the way for other young female referees. Referee Co-Ordinator Sam McCarthy was on hand to present the young ladies with their awards.

Next was the Most Improved Junior referee. And young Ewan Maggio was a worthy recipient. After coming through a officiating family, with dad James a 1st Grade referee within the WA Referee ranks, Ewan impressed alot of people this year with his knowledge and improvement in the officiating ranks, culminating and his appointment for the U13 Girls Grand Final, which was one of the tightest and most enjoyable games of the day.

WARLRA Life Member Tom Waller & Tamatoa Davis

Our Junior Referee of the year was next, and with some incredible young referees this year coming through the ranks, and on the heels of some amazing previous winners, young Tamatoa Davis scooped the award after a fantastic season. A young man who always puts his hand up to help out where ever he can, with an amazing family behind him, Tamatoa is a rugby league fanatic who always wants to be involved. Presented by referee legend Tom Waller, Tom also announced that he is leaving the great state of WA, and our thoughts and prayers go with him as he relocates.

WARLRA Vice President Jeff Wenham & Rory Noonan

We then moved into our senior referee awards next, and the Best 1st Year Senior was the next award, and I don’t think it came as any surprise as Rory Noonan was announced the winner. Another young man from a refereeing family, his father Liam Noonan was not to be out done by the young upstart as he was presented with the Referees Referee Award, which is voted by all the other referees and is a highly prestigious award in the ranks. The Noonan’s are just one of the great refereeing families we have here in WA and we are lucky to have them.

Last Years Referee’s Referee Tony Tapu & Liam Noonan

While he could not be in attendance, Rob McKay was honoured as the most improved senior referee. He has come from a lower grade referee in rugby league and to refereeing Premiership at a regular basis in our competition. Already with all the accolades in Touch Football, it was great having Rob amongst the ranks this year.

But the man of the moment in the West Australian Rugby League Referees Association is Scott Spittles. Scott was the Premiership/First Grade Grand Final Referee and scooped the major award which is the Ron Hudson Medal, for the referee of the year. Along with these prestigious awards he also won the Golden Whistle, which is awarded to the referee with the greatest…. lets call it… mishap… for his emergency while refereeing a premiership game this season! If you see him ask him about it as it’s a great story.

Thank you to all those involved in the Refereeing ranks, especially to the parents and loved ones. Without all of your efforts we wouldn’t have a game at all.

A great day and some worthy winners, if you would like to become a referee please email creedy@nrl.com.au, goto www.playrugbyleague.com or please watch out for our referee courses on NRL WA Facebook, Instagram or our website.