Mitchell: Give TMO more rights

    2012-03-12 18:58

    Johannesburg - Lions coach John Mitchell on Monday said he would file a formal complaint against assistant match officials who were involved in his side's Super Rugby match against the Sharks in Durban over the weekend..

    He hit out at some of the decisions made by referee Mark Lawrence's assistants, Quinton Immelman, Marc van Zyl and Television Match Official (TMO) Johann Meuwesen in Saturday's game.

    "They won't change the result, but clearly [the officials] need to be accountable at this level,” he said.

    Mitchell said on Monday he could not see any reason why TMOs could not be granted additional powers.

    He felt they should be able to review the build-up to a try rather than only what happens in front of the line.

    "I think we should increase the TMO's power to go back from the tryline, back to where play started," he said.

    "The law goes back to the point of where play started, which is correct, whether it is a scrum or a lineout."

    He said rugby had technology at its disposal and to ask the TMO to review play a few movements back would not slow down the cadence of a match by much.

    His call for the International Rugby Board (IRB) to review the powers of the TMO is part of a growing chorus on this issue.

    Last week, South African referees' manager André Watson weighed into the debate after the Super Rugby clash between the Cheetahs and Bulls a fortnight ago.

    A try by Bulls prop Dean Greyling was awarded despite video evidence of a double movement leading to the try.

    While the video evidence suggested it was not a try, the problem lay in the match referee Craig Joubert's question to the TMO, who was coincidentally also Meuwesen.

    He asked Meuwesen only if there was any reason not to award the try as he was unaware of the double movement.

    Meuwesen could, however, only officiate on the grounding of the ball in that situation and not the earlier indiscretion.

    It is believed that if greater powers were to be granted to TMOs it would negate injustices such as these.

    Watson told Die Burger he hoped extra powers would be granted to the TMOs and the system could be on trial as early as in this year's Currie Cup competition.

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