Saturday, August 20, 2011
Earlier today the Springboks beat the All Blacks 18-5 in their Tri Nations encounter in Port Elizabeth. Here's a quick look at one of the big talking points from the game.
You can have a look at the incident yourself below, but in a nutshell, Israel Dagg broke the line and was pulled down short of the tryline, then popped the ball to Jimmy Cowan with a pass that went forward. Cowan crossed over, placed the ball, and it looked like it would be called a try.
Referee George Clancy and his assistant ref missed it, or possibly had some doubts, and there appeared to be some questions over the grounding so he called for TMO Johan Meuwesen, who after saying there was no problem with the grounding, then offered further advice.
"Do you need any other information before the goal line?", said Meuwesen, to which Clancy responded in the affirmative, only to be told there was a forward pass. Clancy then ruled a forward pass without hesitation.
This is, unless otherwise stated by the IRB in a directive that the majority of us are unaware of, not part of the TMO protocol. Therefore Meuwesen was technically in the wrong, even if the decision was correct. It's a bit bizarre really, but that piece of initiative will come under criticism.
Some extracts from the laws state the follow, under law 6.A.6 REFEREE CONSULTING WITH OTHERS
'(b) A match organiser may appoint an official who uses technological devices. If the referee is unsure when making a decision in in-goal involving a try being scored or a touch down, that official may be consulted.
The official may be consulted if the referee is unsure when making a decision in in-goal with regard to the scoring of a try or a touch down when foul play in in-goal may have been involved.
The official may be consulted if the referee or assistant referees are unsure if a player was or was not in touch when attempting to ground the ball to score a try.'
There have been incidents in the past where a similar thing has occurred, but because of the limitations of the law, the wrong decision was made, for the sake of the officials making sure they're doing a good job. There's huge amounts of irony in that.
So while a bad call was made, Clancy and Meuwesen will now have to face up to the fact that there may well be repercussions of them taking the initiative, to make the right decision.
Whether you watched the game live or are seeing it for the first time now, what are you feelings on what took place? Do you think that this might help extend the TMO capabilities in future, or should they both be reprimanded, and we make sure this never happens again?