Rugby Championship

SANZAAR referees boss: Crotty try was legit

2017-10-09 16:10
Ryan Crotty (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - SANZAAR has ruled that the try awarded to All Blacks midfielder Ryan Crotty in Saturday’s 25-24 win over the Springboks was a try - and that’s final!

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There has been a lot of debate, both among the SuperSport panel on television and among fans, since the try was awarded on Saturday from Elton Jantjies’ charged-down kick.

But despite some people believing referee Jerome Garces and his TMO erred by awarding the try, SANZAAR referees boss Lyndon Bray believes the right decision was made.

“Crotty was not carrying the ball so there was no loss of control or knock-on at that point,” Bray explained to

“Therefore the next issue to consider is if he propelled the ball forward trying to ground it.

“When he first made contact with ball, the ball was not at first in contact with the ground, and it appears the ball movement was straight down and not forward.

“If it was determined he had insufficient downward pressure it was still not a knock on. Then his momentum meant his upper body forced the ball and under law this is a try.”

Still, on Monday debate raged on social media about whether the try should have been awarded or whether Crotty had lost control of the ball.

The other talking point was of SANZAAR’s disciplinary committee’s decision to rescind Damian de Allende’s red card for the late charge on Lima Sopoaga.

While it was deemed a tough call, even SkySports commentator and former All Black Justin Marshall stepped into the argument to defend De Allende.

“In these big games, you always try to boil it down to where it went wrong for both teams in certain instances,” Marshall said.

“No doubt there was a bit of conjecture around the All Blacks' first try. The officials took a long time to decide Ryan Crotty had scored.

“Then we had Damian de Allende's red card. I understand we need to protect players from contact to the head. There have been too many head assessment injuries this year. However, we've still got to respect that the game is a contact sport. And when you make big decisions, you've got to make sure you get them right.

“I don't think it was clear and obvious that there was major contact with Lima Sopoaga's head. He didn't grab at his face or head. You've got to wonder how the officials come up with a red card for that.

“I can understand a penalty for the late charge - nobody is debating that. And you can maybe understand, if you were incredibly politically correct, a yellow card. But for the officials to go for a red? Come on, we can't continue to get these decisions that far wrong because that's not fair.

“Ultimately, South Africa came home strongly and were pushing hard to win this Test but, because of that decision, had to try to do it with 14 men. To me, that seems unfair.

Marshall said there was a lot of sympathy for De Allende in this case.

“We've seen poor officiating cost teams too many times. I'd be saying these same things if it was an All Blacks player. It's not anything to do with what colour jersey you've got on, it's about the officials getting it right. We should feel some sympathy for South Africa because they were hard done by with that decision. It didn't mean they were going to win the test by any means. But it means another decision, like we saw in the third test against the Lions, had a massive influence on the finish of a game and we're all scratching our heads as to why the officials are getting it wrong.”

De Allende apologised on Twitter afterwards for the incident.

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