Kaplan: Referee calls embarrassing
Cape Town - Retired South African Test referee Jonathan Kaplan says inconsistencies from officials are becoming embarrassing to the Super Rugby tournament.
Kaplan was commenting after the Bulls’ 21-20 loss to the Rebels in Melbourne at the weekend.
Bulls inside centre Burger Odendaal crashed over the line for what appeared to be a perfectly legitimate try in the 61st minute.
New Zealand referee, Nick Briant, opted to refer the decision upstairs to the TMO, Australia’s Ian Smith.
Somehow Smith found grounds to suggest there was enough doubt to rule it out - despite replays only appearing to confirm to most viewers that the try was fine.
Kaplan commented on the call via his website, www.ratetheref.co.za.
He wrote: “There was ANOTHER dodgy call from the match officials, one that could be argued had a direct impact not only on the result, but on the Bulls’ outside chance of qualifying for the playoffs.
“In truth, they haven’t been good enough at all this season and hardly deserve their spot, but neither did they deserve this apparent blunder of note. But I don’t think this is about the Bulls at all…
“I’m not privy to the communication between the ref and TMO (Ian Smith of Australia) but I have tried to see why they wouldn’t want to award this try and cannot see any reason for not awarding it.
“It is a poor call among many this year, and it is simply not good enough at this level. It is embarrassing for Super Rugby, one of the two premier provincial competitions in the world. And for rugby in general.
“How can this type of rampant incompetence and inconsistency be allowed to continue? It is a resource problem, a personnel problem, a coaching problem. Technology is here to stay but we need to get on top of it.”