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South African referees boss Andre Watson has said that the rights of he Television Match Official (TMO) could be expanded after the Bulls were awarded an illegal try.


The Bulls were awarded an illegal try in their match against the Cheetahs when prop Dean Greyling performed a double movement in the act of scoring a 10th minute try.

Watson says that the IRB’s rigid protocol helped the Bulls to get away with scoring the try at the Free State Stadium.

Match referee Craig Joubert saw Greyling place the ball for a try but not he double movement before the try so he asked TMO Johann Meuwesen, “Is there any reason not to award the try?”

Meuwesen knew that Greyling had not scored a legal try but as he is only allowed to respond to the referee’s original question which covers the actual act of scoring the try and not the events immediately prior to the act he could not comment.

TMO Meuwesen wanted to tell referee Joubert to award the Cheetahs a penalty but could not due to IRB protocol.

Watson said that the incident was an unfortunate incident in which the protocols prevented the right call from being made.

“According to protocol from the IRB a referee is not allowed to respond to any additional information from the TMO which doesn’t relate to his original question,” said Watson.

“Johann wanted to give Craig extra information, because it clearly wasn’t a try. But both of them would have ended up in hot water.

“The problem started with Craig not spotting Greyling’s transgression. In this case the protocol led to the wrong decision being made and Craig has taken full responsibility,” said Watson.

Watson did however also reveal some positive news as he says the IRBare planning to test the protocol where the TMO’s rights are expanded.

“It will allow the TMO to point out foul play and to give additional information to prevent a situation like what happened at the weekend.”

” If there is, for example, a forward pass which leads to a try 30 meters on, he’ll be able to point it out.

“I really hope the Currie Cup is one of the competitions in which the protocol will be tested. A decision will be made next month,” said Watson.

3 Responses to Super Rugby: Andre Watson calls for more TMO powers

  • 1

    I would like to see TMO’s having more authority and influences on the outcome of games. There is only so much the refs and touch judges can see in real time, and with the technology we have, the TMO’s can be used to change certain decisions in order to have fair winners at the end of the game.
    I would also like to see a renewed review system reintroduced to the game. It has worked well in cricket, resulting in the right decisions been made, so it should benefit rugby too.

  • 2

    He asked “Is there any reason not to award the try?”
    YES Sir there is, absolute stupidity that the TMO did not speak out.

  • 3

    The conversation between the Ass Ref and Craig Joubert after the Hougaart tip tackle was also very confusing, or did my English left me then. Wish i recorded the game . Can someone listen to what was said and repeat it for me here. Please?


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