More power for TMO refs

2013-01-11 20:30

London - The powers of video referees in rugby are set to be extended as part of new protocols to be trialed globally by the International Rugby Board in 2013.

The Test match official, referred to as the TMO, will be able to advise the on-field referee about incidents of potential foul play and also review up to two phases of play before a try is scored.

Currently, the TMO can be asked to rule only on incidents "in goal" - or over the tryline.

The IRB said on Friday it has approved the trial of both extended protocols in international and domestic competition from the beginning of the next respective season in the northern and southern hemispheres.

They could be ratified by the IRB council in May 2014.

"Rugby continues to evolve and innovate and there is no doubt that rugby referees have one of the toughest officiating roles in sport," IRB chairperson Bernard Lapasset said.

"We are committed to ensuring that they have all the tools they require from conditioning, management and technology to ensure that they can perform to the highest possible standards."

Initial trials were held in the English Premiership and South Africa's Currie Cup and were deemed "highly successful", according to the IRB, whose aim is to eradicate obvious infringements in the build-up to tries as well as clear incidents of foul play.

However, Graham Mourie, the IRB rugby committee chairperson, said: "It is now important that we educate our match officials to ensure excessive recourse to the TMO must be avoided for the sake of continuity."

New Zealand hooker Andrew Hore's blatant punch on Wales lock Bradley Davies in the first minute of the All Blacks' 33-10 win in Cardiff in November was an example of the kind of incident that could have been ruled on by a TMO, had he the power to act.


  • christopher.collings.9 - 2013-01-11 20:16

    About bloody time! Lets see how well the All Cheats do now..

      Flemstone - 2013-01-11 22:53

      In Super rugby SA teams get as many yellow and red cards as the other two countries put together. Reviewing these incidents won't favour SA teams.

      ruan.smith.14 - 2013-01-12 07:01

      Im pretty sure TMO stands for Television Match Official!!!!

      ryan.stephen.07 - 2013-01-12 09:20

      @Flemstone: That clearly depends on the nationality of the referee. The reason why we're so much in favour of TMO having extended powers is that there's nowhere to hide. You can't make blatantly inconsistent decisions in that scenario, punishing one player and ignoring another. I agree that SA players will be penalised when they are wrong, I'm fine with that. What we want is other countries to be penalised for the same infringements and with the same consistency.

      Flemstone - 2013-01-12 10:33

      Oh so its a conspiracy Ryan? I thought SA refs were blowing SA game? Same goes for NZ and OZ. I'm in favour of the TMO having more power too, I'm simply pointing out that this won't be good for SA teams. I've also seen this referral system lead to many more cards in the Aviva premiership. The TMO will apply it to the letter of the law. OK he's gone 1 degree past the horizontal, yellow card. As for tries being scored from forward passes, this is brilliant. Expect to see even more cards for SA players.

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-13 22:41

      Phlegm, so that will mean from now on Kiwi and Aussie teams will get just as many red and yellow cards. Scared of the level playing field yet?

      Flemstone - 2013-01-14 01:07

      You've missed my point Chrisin. I expect to see even more cards for SA teams. I don't believe there is any bias. Some SA fans are always crying that SA players are treated harshly. I don't agree. They're the dirtiest players and the amount of cards received proves this.

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-14 01:14

      I totally got what you were trying to say. And I say again, expect to see an equal amount of cards to spread between the countries. You'll be surprised at just how dirty the kiwi players can be as well. There's no turning a blind eye anymore.

  • terry.burne - 2013-01-11 20:40

    It doesn't help when you have some of the TMO's that we have in South Africa (i.e. Shaun Veldsman and others) who even when something is obvious to everyone else who sees it on TV ...... they still get it wrong! If you are going to give TMO's more power, then you need to make sure that TMOs are more competent!!!!!

  • ian.harrison.52035 - 2013-01-11 20:52

    Test match official? Television match official is his proper designation I think

  • - 2013-01-11 23:39

    2 phases back? Hier kom 'n ding what if he has to review 10min,etc of footage because one team managed 20 odd phases per play? A game starting at 3pm ending at 7pm??? More ads, more booze, more biltong hehehe ek gaan leke dik word!

      Jared Matthews - 2013-01-12 08:30

      wow....thats a no brainer!! if a team managed to pull off 20 phases in one play, then they will only look back TWO phases! I dont know how it could be more clearer... - 2013-01-12 09:17

      Too much Gl├╝hwein last night sorry it always makes the picture blur hehe!

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-13 22:52 might have confused 20 with 2, but he has a point. TMO referrals are already taking a very long time. There was something in league called "benefit of the doubt". I don't care much for league so I'm not 100% sure how it worked, but the bottom line is that if the review goes on for a certain amount of time (2 minutes I think) and if it is not very clear that he has not scored, they give the scorer the benefit of the doubt and the try is awarded. I know this rule has been scrapped from the league rules, so I don't expect rugby to follow something that didn't work, but they need to do something about the time it takes to make a decision. Maybe something like in cricket, where the ref makes a call and the opposition has one or two reviews where they can challenge the on-field call?

      Flemstone - 2013-01-14 01:08

      I've been watching it in the UK. A decision is reached pretty quickly.

  • lood800 - 2013-01-12 00:05

    2 phases not 20 phases. Come on

  • leigh.botha.5 - 2013-01-12 06:44

    I was walking back home from a fantastic evening out in Cape Town and somehow i see this article and this is merely a personal opinion so agree to disagree, as creating a situation which puts certain parties (refs) for that matter between a rock and a hard place and you ask why well ill get to my point now, refs which are just doing there job with technology which has been implemented to assist with a more accurate outcome for a game that we as South Africans and for the fans all around the world that love this fantastic and exciting game so much. Sadly the realty is that this could turn into a nasty environment with fans, viewers or spectators however you want to see it just purely because the fan might not agree entirely with the end result of a refs decision that might of been assisted by means of the newly implemented technology and visual methods at hand. Lets be honest here now, we know how serious some of our South African fans can get if that result doesn't put there team in some kind of advantage or a end result of a try which i would put money on that fan that he's not going to be a happy camper, I'm not even going to comment on how competitive the rugby world Is when it comes to winning, by taking all the equipment which has now been implemented to give or assist with a final decision has pretty much reached an all time high which I feel personal has created a bit of an obstruction to the game. Hey,listen I'm all game for this extra help the refs are been given for decision making because I to want to have the most accurate or extra assistance to get a final answer at the end of the game to hopefully see my team then win but maybe it's just me being blind or old school or just frankly not understanding the new approach or the direction of this method of which rugby is going. PS, reminder that this writer is a bit under the influence with complements of mother city CT!!! Rugby has always been recognized as a gentlemen game between the players that take part and those which are just part of the team for whatever the reason maybe even there participation in a service to the squad to give them that edge but besides the physicality, pace, determination of each player to drive forward with the ball using all means possible to reach that ever lasting goal of crossing a well defended try line and scoring that winning try to have defeated a just as determined opponent. Is this what the game has come to that it can be determine an control by more cameras and that the TMO can even go as far back as two phases just to confirm a obstruction, infringement or foul play!! Let the game play, don't kill it or slow it down with all these side observation and analysts! Let the ref blow the game and if he ask for the assistance on a situation that might of occurred or would just like to confirm a movement then so be it that he receives the assistances aid as requested. Not to get carried away with my comments for this article coz i must say I'm having a hell of a time typing this story. Rugby is growing and becoming stronger everyday with players showing unbelievable talent and skill and trying to take the game to the next level or to become the next super star or face of rugby, frankly rugby is a very simple game with each player knowing what there duty is after weeks of hard training then to apply the game plan which was drilled over and over again at training till the team got it right and to accomplish it on the field and by instinct knowing how to achieve that require objective and to have the end result of a try at hand. The game was a success why back in the day with minimal requirement of camera assistance and still today rugby is growing at such a pace it's mind blowing but somehow we have the urge still add more restriction and visual aiding assistance which is causing the game to be slowed down to a boring pace purely due to ever second movement wants or needs to be observed due to a possible obstruction, foul or infringement? I said it early in the comment I'm open for change if its intentions are to strengthen the game of rugby obviously if its going to bring an extra advantage to the possibility that my team could win at the end of the 80 minutes fantastic. Just throwing this subject back into the air so its not to be forgotten and just frankly because it my opinion, lets not kill the players by restricting them of trying any possible actions to win a ball or maybe even foul play, yes its unsportsmen like agree but it's part of the game, if the player got away with the obstruction or foul movement without the ref seeing it then well done to the player and the 5seconds of luck that he had on his side for that brief moment but there is 80 minutes of play surely enough time for the opponent team to try his luck and if sighted then he shall be penalized and if not sighted it's another lucky man. Guys and if possible ladies, you'll see the time of this comment been posted this morning was 5:46am of which I had a fantastic night out in Cape Town painting all red but on my arrival back at the flat reading this article with one open eye, it just struck me that this physical game that most of us have been involve in some or other why just looks,sounds even feels like the game is being prevented or held back so the game does not reach or achieve its full capabilities as we can recall the amazing years of real body crashing full pace of hit and run with no holding back in the game due to minimal restriction from the ref, that rugby of 1995 is just 1 silly example! Again a reminder that i am under the influence and as I sit here trying to sound clever, I apologies if I'm entirely missing the point of the extra visual aid and assistance from the TMO then my bad and if someone has the time just to explain the purpose in laymen's terms it would be appreciated so i could be on board to but if I'm even remotely close to having a valid point then fantastic on my behalf. Looking so forward to 2013 super rugby, is going to be epic!!!!! A fantastic day to all!!!!!

      ruan.smith.14 - 2013-01-12 07:02

      Too long!!

      Jared Matthews - 2013-01-12 08:33

      post comments, not articles...

      piet.swart.946 - 2013-01-13 20:35

      Leigh I suspect someone spiked your drink or your snuff with a stimulant. :)

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-14 03:57

      Hands-up anyone who made it to the second paragraph??

      louis.bensch.31 - 2013-01-15 15:01

      Could not get past the second sentence, bet you are a Stormer supporter..

  • Deon - 2013-01-12 08:56

    Arme Richie Mcaw.....hehehe, no luck 4 that 'ALL CHEAT' than.....

  • peter.boettger - 2013-01-12 09:36

    WELL WELL the only ones fighting the TMO's are the Boys in Black the wheel has turned and so for the Biased Refs their days are numbered,long overdue.Level the playing fields

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-13 22:53

      Enter the biased TMO.

  • peter.cornelius.39 - 2013-01-12 12:12

    Awesome this...Biased/crappy refs, beware.

  • Joe - 2013-01-14 18:02

    I lost Leigh at ... I was walking back home from ... way too long to read ... voice record Leigh!!

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