TMOs may guard S15 foul play

2011-11-30 22:28

Cape Town - Television match officials could play a part in pointing out foul play during next year's Super Rugby tournament.

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The International Rugby Board (IRB) recently announced that two tournaments - one in each hemisphere - would be used on a trial basis to enable Television Match Officials (TMOs) to point out foul play to referees during games, which would see referees hand out yellow or red cards on the TMO's advice.

The Northern Hemisphere's Heineken Cup will be the first tournament to use the rule and according to the Volksblad newspaper, the Super Rugby tournament could follow suit next season.

"There must still be decided what tournament in the Southern Hemisphere the new technology will be used in, but hopefully it's in the Super Rugby tournament," South African referees manager André Watson said.

"It is good to use technology where it could be of assistance and I support it 100%. However, I fear that most people won't realise that it won't be infallible.

The IRB is yet to decide how the rule would be implemented. The first option is for the referee to decide when he would want to refer possible foul play to the TMO, while the second option would be for each of the two captains to receive one referral per match.

Watson feels a combination of the two options could work. "One must remember that the captain can't always see everything that happens on the field and won't always be able to make a call to refer the incident," said Watson.

However, Watson warned that the system won't be 100% foolproof. "If a referee and a TV-ref both miss the incident, it will go by unpunished.

"The use of it will also largely depend on the broadcaster involved and its 'replay' image," said Watson.


  • Allen - 2011-11-30 23:05

    Who's going to guard against "Bryce Lawrence" type reffing decisions? This is far more necessary for rugby than some arbitrary decisions for "handbag" incidents. There are currently 3 referees on the field. One blowing a whistle, and two waving flags. Back in the day the linesmen were "just guys who ran the touchline". Today these guys want to be part of the action and do their best to disrupt play as best they can. Now they want to bring in a Big Brother? Give the knowing spectator a good referee, and this will go a long way to alleviating bad play on the field. Check out young Stuart Berry for an up-and-coming referee of the future. Rugby needs more like him and so do the players!

      Thomas - 2011-12-01 02:23

      You are dead right Allen! I read where Matfield said "Bryce Lawrence" Froze in the match between the Aussies and Boks!! The word "FROZE" must be the Politicaly Correct version of "CHEATING" as Matfield still wants a future in Int rugby!!! Lawrence scewed up so many times in this WC he should have been in the "ICU" before the pool stages ended with "Frostbite"

      Christopher - 2011-12-01 08:44

      @Lonne: The way we were playing we would have given the All Blacks a real run and I feel that we could have won the tournament. It doesn't help to play good rugby though when everytime you get into the opposition 22 the referee awards the opposition a dubious penalty or allows them to steal the ball ilegally. It was sickening to watch and being upset about something doesn't make you a "sore loser". If we'd lost fairly then we could accept it and move on but to be robbed does stick in th throat. I agree with Thomas 100%.

      John - 2011-12-01 09:34

      @Christopher: I still believe that the All Blacks only won the World Cup because they did not play us, and no-one will change my mind. I also read an article about this being the best World Cup ever, which I think is rubbish. There were far too many games affected by very poor referring decisions.

      bernard.ingram - 2011-12-02 06:48

      Spot on assessment Allen!

  • Rory Litchfield - 2011-12-01 03:24

    hasntis always been the case ? hardly revolutionary.SA sides will continue to get the short end of the stick

  • Rory Litchfield - 2011-12-01 03:29

    another thought....will AUS and NZ broadcasting companies be objective? ever notice how they never showreplays of their olayets doing the dirty.....sorry IRB......nice idea, but open to subjective application....just like the ref s interpretation of the laws

  • Nico - 2011-12-01 05:32

    I think it should be used before they give a card for foul play. These days a card can have a huge influence on the game, so rather refer that to the ref before someone is send off.

      Lionel - 2011-12-01 08:36

      Nico,I agree with you,how many times has it also happened that the wrong guy is given the yellow card for someone elses infringement!!!!!!!

  • Amanda-Leigh - 2011-12-01 07:24

    the referral system has been fantastic in cricket, about time the IRB catches a bloody wake up.

      bernard.ingram - 2011-12-02 06:50

      Well said Amanda. Rugby is lagging a million miles behind cricket an tennis.

  • Lionel - 2011-12-01 07:30

    Andre Watson looks a bit like John Cleese in this picture:):):)

  • Jerhone - 2011-12-01 08:12

    now because the world cup is over and they got away with it, now the all becks want to use tmo's this still won't allow brycey to come anywhere in SA without a police escort running either side of him in a match

  • JohhnyBGood - 2011-12-01 08:36

    If used properly this could be a very good idea. Should this be used incorrectly, it will really negatively impact games. I hope for the best

  • Anton - 2011-12-01 14:45

    Fact is that the referrees still bypass the system as wand when they want to. A Question like. Do you see any reason why i can not award the try, means the poor bastard on the other side can only say yes or no, he does not have to see the baal been grounded, a foot going into touch or a forward pass somewhere in the movement.. So the Refs still manipultae the question to get the desired result. I feel when a try is scored, check the whole movement for foul play, forward pass or a foot in touch before you worrry about the grounding or the try. Because sometimes a try get awarded and then on the replay all spectators pick up a nock or something wrong, like Alberts try in CC final.

  • bernard.ingram - 2011-12-02 06:47

    Gone are Cheater-McCaw's days of foul play...or will his foul play still be ignored?

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