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.