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  • TMOs & Close Calls

    As we saw in this weekend's match between England & Wales being a TMO can be a very difficult job.

    Lets look at England's last gasp try that was ruled as held up by the TMO, and decide if it was right or not.

    First of all I will state that on replay, and with the benefit of doubt, I believe that it probably was a try.

    However, the referee from his first glance believed that the Welsh had got there in time to hold it up (It was close!), with this in mind he asked the TMO Question 1 which is "Try or no try?". Which is exactly the right question he needed to ask from what he had seen.

    Had the referee seen a grounding, he would have asked "Is there any reason I cannot award the try?". This means he is happy that the grounding was ok and is asking for other reasons (such as a foot in touch, or a knock on) to not award it.

    The consequence of asking the "Try or no try?" question is that in order to award a try the TMO must see that the attacker has grounded the ball on or over the goal line. From the various TMO angles, it is inconclusive, and the try is not awarded. Hawkeye technology or any other clever devices would not have made any difference here. All that was needed was the right camera angle which is not always possible.

    Now let's not get hung up too much about it, this is no different than a few years ago before we had a TMO (or in any grassroots game) where the referee would have to make a decision based on what they have seen (not what they think happened) and the players had to acceot it. In this case it would have been called as held up (because that's what Steve Walsh believed had happened) and a 5m scrum would have been awarded to England, however as time was up the game would have still been over, and Wales the victors.

    So is there a better way to ensure tries and non tries are called correctly?

    We could look at the rugby league system where they can give a try based on "benefit of the doubt", but this just swings the problem the other way where a try that may not have been scored is awarded. So it's not really a solution.

    We could increase the number of cameras, but as Rugby is a dynamic game, tries are not always scored in the same place. You may reduce the issue a little more, but the issue will still be there.

    So while it is frustrating, especially for the English in this case, it's just a part of the game that has to be accepted, just as we have to accept that our team will knock on and throw the odd forward pass. All we can do is train to be the best we can to reduce the amount of times it happens. Which to be fair to referees, isn't all that often.
    Comments 22 Comments
    1. Dickie E's Avatar
      Dickie E -
      not sure about the apostrophe
    1. Robert Burns's Avatar
      Robert Burns -
      oops
    1. Simon Thomas's Avatar
      Simon Thomas -
      Robbie - typo

      So if there a better way to ensure tries and non tries are called correctly?

      A good summary of the TMO role and decision making, referenced back to Law, not myths.
    1. menace's Avatar
      menace -
      small typo or the scottish coming through?
      "However, the referee from his first glance believed that the Welsh had got thee in time "
    1. Robert Burns's Avatar
      Robert Burns -
      lol, you can tell I typed it quickly at work.
    1. ddjamo's Avatar
      ddjamo -
      the other typo is probably WAS a try...shouldn't that read...was NOT a try? is there new video proving any different?
    1. Bryan's Avatar
      Bryan -
      Quote Originally Posted by ddjamo View Post
      the other typo is probably WAS a try...shouldn't that read...was NOT a try? is there new video proving any different?
      I think Rob's point is that some tries are deemed NOT to be awarded based on a lack of a good camera angle and the astuteness of defenders to put their bodies in the way of the cameras rather than the ball not actually being grounded.

      I can also rewrite it as: "I would have made the same decision as the TMO, with the full knowledge that it probably was a try but without sufficient video evidence the only response possible was "No Try"."

      I'll put it down to being a rushed article so I wont take Robbie out at the knees on this one.
    1. ddjamo's Avatar
      ddjamo -
      damn bryan...you are the best reader between the lines ever...
    1. Bryan's Avatar
      Bryan -
      Quote Originally Posted by ddjamo View Post
      damn bryan...you are the best reader between the lines ever...
      If you're going to pull the sarcasm card, then dont make reference to typos if you're not serious!
    1. ddjamo's Avatar
      ddjamo -
      I was complimenting you mate...christ...chill out...seriously...your answer made sense....
    1. Bryan's Avatar
      Bryan -
      Quote Originally Posted by ddjamo View Post
      I was complimenting you mate...christ...chill out...seriously...your answer made sense....
      You mean to tell me that this:
      Quote Originally Posted by ddjamo View Post
      damn bryan...you are the best reader between the lines ever...
      Isnt sarcastic, but GENUINE!?

      Dammit Jamo, I know stuff gets lost in translation, but really, the only way I'd read it is sarcastically.

      I also gave myself an out with "IF you're going to pull...", so clearly a bit of referee-protection in there as well to cover my a$$.

      After being in Scotland for 2 weeks why am I the one translating this sh!t? Stay longer. Learn English.
    1. ddjamo's Avatar
      ddjamo -
      I was giving you a title. I needed quotes, "best reader between the lines" guy.

      nemo me impune lacessit

      just so you know...I live by this now. (explanation: I am taking it out of bryan but did find that latin phrase very powerful when I visited the castle.)
    1. Bryan's Avatar
      Bryan -
      Quote Originally Posted by ddjamo View Post
      (explanation: I am taking it out of bryan but did find that latin phrase very powerful when I visited the castle.)
      Taking it out ON, or Taking it out OF?

      Someone get this discussion back on the rails!

      FWIW, it's not a TMO issue. The TMO gives advice, and particularly in a situation like this, it's all down to the question the referee asks that skews the odds in favour of the attacking / defending team!
    1. mike97mike's Avatar
      mike97mike -
      On the pitch this weekend with Collegiate Women, I dealt with the question that many others have faced. From my perspective facing the attacking player I saw a try, but from the defenders view opposiet, it was not so simple.
    1. L'irlandais's Avatar
      L'irlandais -
      Hi mike97mike,
      Welcome to the forum.

      ddjamo does that mean something like "Wha daur meddle wi' me?"
    1. Phil E's Avatar
      Phil E -
      I love it when the colonials argue. They both think they are right......neither are

      Mike97 bit more information required please?

      ..........and welcome to the forum.
    1. Dickie E's Avatar
      Dickie E -
      Quote Originally Posted by ddjamo View Post
      I was giving you a title. I needed quotes, "best reader between the lines" guy.

      nemo me impune lacessit

      just so you know...I live by this now. (explanation: I am taking it out of bryan but did find that latin phrase very powerful when I visited the castle.)
      here's an avatar for your new-found mojo

      Attachment 1998
    1. Robert Burns's Avatar
      Robert Burns -
      ddjamo. i believe it probably was a try, but given the video cannot prove it enough to be awarded by a TMO. On the flip side, if Q2 had been asked there is also not any evidence to say it had not been scored.
    1. Robert Burns's Avatar
      Robert Burns -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bryan View Post
      I think Rob's point is that some tries are deemed NOT to be awarded based on a lack of a good camera angle and the astuteness of defenders to put their bodies in the way of the cameras rather than the ball not actually being grounded.

      I can also rewrite it as: "I would have made the same decision as the TMO, with the full knowledge that it probably was a try but without sufficient video evidence the only response possible was "No Try"."
      That's it.

      For the record, from the camera angles I have seen, I do think England probably DID score a try, but the question requires proof and the evidence isn't good enough to be certain.
    1. Dickie E's Avatar
      Dickie E -
      Quote Originally Posted by Robert Burns View Post
      That's it.

      For the record, from the camera angles I have seen, I do think England probably DID score a try, but the question requires proof and the evidence isn't good enough to be certain.
      Why does it require proof? Isn't beyond reasonable doubt enough? 22.15 only applies if there is doubt about WHO grounds the ball, not WHETHER the ball was grounded. Or is this being chopperesque?
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