Watson against TMO overuse

    2011-06-09 22:13
    Jóhann Thormählen

    Bloemfontein - Rugby matches should not be decided from the pavilion or from in front of a computer screen.

    That was the word from South African referees boss André Watson after the role of the television match official once again became a talking point after the Super Rugby match between the Cheetahs and Sharks.

    While Watson believes the TMO should play a role, he is against using it excessively.

    Watson said that an analysis of the abovementioned match had been completed and that communication had taken place with the parties involved.

    Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské questioned the judgement of referee Marius Jonker and his assistants, Jonathan Kaplan and Cobus Wessels, after the defeat to the Sharks.

    Drotské believes there were five incidents where the Sharks should have been yellow-carded and the breakdowns were also a point of concern. He was also unhappy that off-the-ball incidents in which the Sharks were the perpetrators were not spotted.

    Watson admitted this week that some of the decisions in the match were wrong.

    SANZAR referees boss Lyndon Bray said on the website that the role of the TMO could be expanded, especially after incorrect calls on foul play were made last week.

    However, Bray believes the TMO's role should still be a limited one and Watson agrees.

    "It's easy for someone to say: use technology. It's not that simple because the guy in the 'box' may be a specialist TMO - in other words, an expert on the in-goal area - but not necessarily a better referee than the guy on the field.

    "Furthermore, the call just shifts from one guy to another. I am completely against the match being officiated from the pavilion or from behind a computer screen," he said.

    However, Watson believes replays have a role to play.

    "There is a place for certain applications, for example when a referee wants clarity over possible foul play, a pass that led to a try and so forth.

    "We have experimented with that in South Africa for two seasons and made a submission to the International Rugby Board (IRB). They have put it on ice until after the 2011 World Cup."

    Watson confirmed that an analysis of the Cheetahs game had been completed.

    "There has been communication with the Cheetahs coach and the referee."
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