Currie Cup

Watson: TMO Willie was right

2013-09-02 07:52
Willie Roos (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - South African refereeing boss André Watson has defended television match official (TMO) Willie Roos's controversial awarding of a penalty try in the Currie Cup game between the Golden Lions and Western Province on Friday.

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VIDEO: Controversial TMO decision

The Lions, trailing 10-25, were awarded a penalty try by Roos in the 48th minute of the match at Ellis Park, as fullback Marnitz Boshoff reached for the tryline and WP centre Damian de Allende dived in at the ball.

Whether or not Boshoff managed to touch the ball on the line, as he rolled over, was inconclusive on the television replays but Roos shocked both coaching teams by awarding a penalty try for De Allende's "diving in on the side and on the player".

To make matters worse for WP, De Allende was yellow-carded and the Lions managed to fight back to draw the match 31-all.

However, Watson insists Roos made the right decision.

"I can't understand why people question it," he told the Beeld website.

"The rule clearly states: After a tackle all incoming players should come through the 'gate'. Therefore, if he (Roos) felt the ball carrier (Boshoff) could possibly have reached the (try) line and such a transgression took place, then it should be a penalty try."

However, WP's counter-argument will be that Boshoff already knocked the ball on by the time De Allende arrived and that the centre therefore could not prevent a try being scored.

WP coach Allister Coetzee was furious with decisions made by officials on the night. "The yellow card was a massive moment and I don't want to say a lot about it. But of course it had an influence and we feel the Lions were unfairly given 14 points because there was a clear knock-on in the build-up to their first try," Coetzee told SAPA.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann, who described the penalty try and yellow card as a "bonus I did not expect", said his team were lucky to snatch a share of the spoils. Making a better start would be a focus in the coming weeks.

"I can't ask for more passion and commitment than we showed in the second half, but maybe I can ask for a better start," Ackermann said.

"It's hard work catching up and we were lucky to do it. You can't do that for 10 weeks in a row."

Roos is no stranger to controversy as an official. He retired from refereeing back in 2009 after he was abused and had a drink flung in his face in Kimberley following a Currie Cup match, but he has since re-emerged in the television hot seat.

Read more on:    currie cup  |  andré watson  |  rugby

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