Despite still being at school this year, Joseph Green (left) has been a revelation on the local refereeing scene, securing appointments for a number of major games and marking his name down as one to watch in the future. Here’s our chat, looking back on 2018.
It’s been a big year for you as a referee, what stands out when you look back now?
The main highlights were making my premier debut in the Sharman Cup competition, along with making my debut on the line in the Jersey Flegg competition in a game where the Warriors played the Parramatta Eels. The U18s Grand Final for the ARL was a game I will probably never forget in my life.
Being involved in the National Secondary Schools Tournament final and a Kiwi Ferns match was huge for me too.
At times you have been refereeing major games where the people are your own age or significantly older, what’s that like?
With only being 17 for the majority of the season, it was at times probably a bit funny. Refereeing guys my own age was interesting.
I never really thought about that happening this year. Those competitions are usually reserved for older people with more experience. It was an honour and a privilege to be part of it.
You also balanced refereeing with playing this year in the college competition, what made you want to pull on the boots again, and did that help you as a referee at all?
Since it was my last year at school I thought I’d give playing one more try. It was good to see the other side of the picture and know what the players experience on the field, But really it was enjoying one last year with mates. I played for James Cook High School and played in the halves.
At the end of the season you were selected to be part of the Emerging Nations World Championships in Australia, talk us through that experience.
That was an eye-opener. Some of the teams I had never seen play rugby league before, like Japan, Poland and the Solomon Islands. They aren’t teams mainstream league fans will probably have heard of it, but the play was good with some high quality players. I reffed Poland v Japan and Japan v Solomon Islands, and did the line the rest of the time.
I got to work with some experienced refs. I met with Gavin Badger, he has reffed 300 NRL games, so to be in a car next to him and pick his brains was amazing.
Finally, who are the referees you really look up to here at home and in the NRL?
In the NRL, even though he has retired, Matt Cecchin stood out. The composure he showed and the way he was able to handle the big games and those situations. At local level Chris McMillan. I have been good mates with him since I started reffing.