The TMO played a big part in the Super Rugby weekend, perhaps too big, yet it seems they still got it wrong with the “Try” scored by Chiliboy Ralepelle.
The Bulls were attacking when Francois Hougaard grubbered the ball towards the Stormers’ line as Siya Kolisi on one side and Frans Malherbe on the other side tried to stop him. The ball went between the two defenders. Ralepelle raced onto the ball, grabbed it and dived over.
The referee referred the decision to the TMO. It was clear that Ralepelle had been in front of Hougaard when Hougaard kicked the ball. The referee wanted to know if he had kicked the ball into a defender.
The TMO examined the situation. The ball had not touched Kolisi but he believed that the ball had touched a sliver of the toe of Malherbe’s boot.
On the strength of this the referee awarded the try. Ralepelle’s try took the Bulls out to 25-10 lead with 13 minutes to play …
The SA Referees website made the following call:
“It would seem that the referee should not have asked the TMO the question he asked him and the TMO should not have given the advice that he gave him: that the ball had been touched by Frans Malherbe and that Ralepelle had thus been put on side and the try should have been awarded.
It would seem that the correct decision would have been a penalty to the Stormers.”
For an in-depth look at the event, head to the SA Referees website …