Worst TMO call in history?
Cape Town - Another weekend, yet another shocking TMO decision!
No, not as game-changing as the Romain Poite-Bismarck du Plessis debacle in Auckland a fortnight ago, but rather during the Western Province v Griquas Absa Currie Cup match at Newlands last Friday.VIDEO: Gerhard van den Heever 'punches' Jacques CoetzeeVIDEO: The Top 5 WORST referee decisions in history!
WP wing Gerhard van den Heever was on the receiving end of what has to be the most comical / laughable TMO decision EVER!
Van den Heever catches an attempted clearance kick by Griquas near the halfway line, and sets off an a mazy run towards the Griquas tryline, beating a number of would-be tacklers, while stumbling his way forward.
Griquas scrumhalf Jacques Coetzee attempts to stop Van den Heever, but gets his head on the "wrong side", and connects with Van den Heever's right arm as the WP speedster braces himself for the tackle - leaving Coetzee pole-axed of the wet Newlands turf.
Play continues for another minute - with the players already lined up for a lineout - before TMO Shaun Veldsman suddenly intervenes and alerts referee Lourens van der Merwe to the incident, asking him to call "time off" while he viewed the reply.
Veldsman, no stranger to controversial decisions in the past, then, unbelievably, to the shock of the players - Coetzee included who at no stage suggested he'd been punched - as well the commentators and fans in attendance, instructs Van der Merwe that there was a "fist" and a "punch" and a yellow card was his recommendation.
Western Province coach Allister Coetzee was quick to warn post-match
against television match officials becoming "too technical" and spoiling the product.
"When a player runs and sidesteps, I don't know how he can still punch while sidestepping," added Coetzee.
Justice prevailed in the end as WP eked out a scrappy 19-13 victory
A check on the Referees section of the SA Rugby official website on Monday revealed no response to the incident from Manager of Referees for the South African Rugby Union, Andre Watson.