Referees Corner – Issues 10 – Dragons

February 18, 2023 in News

A warm welcome to the RDS and another edition of Referees Corner. Todays match official is Mike Adamson from Scotland. Mike is a former Scotland 7s international rugby union player and now professional referee. His primary playing position was at fly-half. Adamson played professionally for Glasgow Warriors and London Scottish and at amateur level for Glasgow Hawks. He has worked his way up the refereeing ladder, officiating in the Anglo-Welsh Cup in England, the Currie Cup in South Africa as well as PRO D2 in France. His refereeing progress and development has been deemed a rapid rise. Adamson has been refereeing World 7s matches since 2014. 


He was appointed to the Refereeing Panel for the Olympic Games Rugby Sevens for Rio 2016.He refereed his first Pro12 match on 26 November 2016; the match Munster versus Treviso. He became the first ex-player to play and referee in the Celtic League / Pro 12 league.He was named as one of the 9 referees that will take charge of the World Rugby U20 Championships in Georgia 2017. On 20 November 2021, Adamson refereed his first tier one International Match between Wales and Australia. On 6 August 2022, Adamson refereed his first Rugby Championship International Match between Argentina and Australia. He is assisted by Oisin Quinn and Tomas O’Sullivan with Dave Suhterland of the SRU in the TMO box. We wish them well for todays game.


Schools Cup


The first thing most referees look forward to after the Christmas period is the Bank of Ireland sponsored Leinster Schools Senior and Junior Challenge Cups. The draw in December kicks this off, but it is the selection of referees that is greatly anticipated. Refereeing a schools cup game, be it on the great new surface in Donnybrook, the RDS, or any other club in Leinster is one of the highlights or any referees career. Not every referee gets to do one so being selected makes it a bit more special. Some referees may never have played to that level in schools, some may not have played rugby in schools at all and some are reliving past glories on the D4 pitch.  Whilst any schools cup game is special for the players, it is equally special for the referee. Some referees may never be lucky enough to referee a game in front of a big crowd again, others may never referee on TV again, so it is an opportunity to be cherished. We’ve already had some great games this season, with plenty more to look forward to. Colm Roche, Padraic Reidy, Robbie Jenkinson and Paul Haycock will referee the four quarter finals of the Senior Cup this year with all games taking place in Energia Park.


Monthly Seminars


We’ve had some great turnouts at our first monthly seminars of 2023. This month we are focusing on the Lineout and the Maul. We’ve had some excellent presentations from our national panel referees Robbie Jenkinson, Sean Gallagher, Paul O’Connor and Sam Holt. We have discussed our routines for setting up the lineout, positioning, lineout formation issues, obstruction at the maul formation and refereeing maul collapses. If you are new to rugby, the lineout is a means of restarting the game after the ball, or a player carrying the ball, crosses the touchline. The opponents of the team who last held or touched the ball, prior to it going out of play, throw the ball into the lineout. To win possession, any player in the lineout can jump for the ball, supported in the jump by two team-mates. 


Often a maul is formed off a lineout hence the reason for educating these together.  A maul typically evolves from a contact situation where the ball carrier is held by an opponent but is not brought to ground. It can develop into an effective method of retaining or contesting possession. A maul can be a dynamic attacking platform which commits defenders and therefore creates space to play. On formation of the maul, offside lines are created. The maul can be tricky to referee, as there are a lot of variables and a lot going on. The Rugby Ready section of the World Rugby website has a lot of great information on both and some law questions at


Want to get involved? 

Referees provide a vital function in servicing all levels of the game. Whether you aspire to referee at the highest level or to referee locally, there is a place for you. There are excellent support structures to develop referees and a thriving social aspect too


Feel free to make contact with the Leinster Rugby Referees at  If you are interested in becoming a referee get in contact with us through our Facebook, our website or through twitter @leinsterreferee.