Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Reviewing the TMO (among other things)

I was speaking with an Irish man yesterday who felt that the referee was wrong on Saturday when Wales scored their try against Ireland. His words were fairly mild when compared with those of some of the players. Brian O'Driscoll called the decision "unforgivable". Keith Earls described the Welsh victory as "sickening" The referee must have had an inkling that the wrong ball was used as he asked the linesman if this were the case. The linesman said it was. If you have seen the news then you will know that the linesman was wrong and the television match official (the TMO) was not asked the same question because they are only used when there is doubt about the act of scoring and in this case the lineout was quite some distance from the try line.

I would make three points. Firstly every rugby fan (and player) should know that the referee and linesmen are right even when they are wrong. There is no room for argument. Once we lose sight of this then we rugby fans start our descent to the level of the football fan. Secondly the use of the TMO will soon be reviewed and amended, and thirdly the commentator for the England versus Scotland match has never played rugby. He asked Brian Moore if you could only take a quick lineout with the same ball. Anyone who has played the game would not need to ask.

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