WPC Final 2015: About the Ref

Dave Lintott     16 Oct 2015     Dave Lintott

This was Mahoney's first season overseeing first class fifteens rugby and she earned the appointment to the Final with a series of consistent performances in the middle throughout the WPC. It's a competition that she knows well, having played thirteen seasons of WPC rugby as a first five-eighth for Wellington, Manawatu and Hawke's Bay.

The shift into refereeing followed the path carved out by recently retired referee Nicky Inwood, who was also a former Black Fern as well as that taken by recent Super Rugby players Glen Jackson and Jamie Nutbrown. Refereeing is a great way for players to extend their involvement with rugby and because of their high level of rugby knowledge, experience of the fitness required at the top level and understanding of what players expect from match officials, they can often be successful.

"I attribute most of my referee success so far to being a player. I know the lines, the set plays and I can visualise the plays before they happen. It is quite important to watch the players you referee too. Now I watch the game differently - I'm looking at the referee's reactions," said Mahoney.

Mahoney made her Black Ferns debut in 2004 against USA in Calgary and played through to 2011, with her career including two Women's Rugby World Cup-winning campaigns in 2006 and 2010. She played in 16 Tests and scored 25 points. After retiring from international rugby, she continued to turn out in the WPC and was a key member of the Manawatu Cyclones in 2013 and 2014.

She started refereeing club rugby for the Wairarapa Bush Union in 2014, after expressing her interest in 2013 and chatting to senior refs and NZR Community Refereeing Manager Trevor Howard. She has become involved with both sevens and fifteens and in September this year was in Samoa overseeing sevens matches at the Commonwealth Youth Games.
Her ultimate goal as a referee is to referee first class men's rugby. She wants to go as far as possible and at 32 years old has time on her side.

Away from rugby, Mahoney manages a cattle farm near Ekatahuna, in the lower North Island, living with her husband and two daughters, Amber and Harper, whose births were planned around her two Women's Rugby World Cup campaigns with the Black Ferns.

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