Front Row Grunt

Rugby … with cauliflower ears

Stuart Berry

No TMO allowed in De Jongh try

Juan de Jongh’s try against the Cheetahs did originate from a bounce off an accidentally offside Deon Fourie, but the TMO could not have been called upon.

Referee Stuart Berry could NOT have referred the try to the TMO as even in the extended use of the TMO, the protocol is that the potential infringement must have occurred between the last restart of play (set piece, penalty/free-kick, kick-off or restart) and the try.

The ball, kicked ahead by Gio Aplon, did strike Deon Fourie’s legs when he was ahead of Aplon, thus putting him in an offside position. It bounced back to Steven Kitshoff, who went for the line. The Cheetahs managed to stop him, but illegally so, and were penalised five metres from their line, next to their posts.

Jean de Villiers took a quick tap, recycled the ball, before Nic Groom went wide to De Jongh who forced his way through Burton Francis and Piet van Zyl to score a try.

If Kitshoff had got over for a potential try, then Berry could have referred the rebound to the TMO, but once he had penalised the Cheetahs, the option of going back to the rebound was no longer available to him.

If the rebound had been seen it would have been a scrum to the Cheetahs, not a try to the Stormers.

Being left 20 metres or so behind play, Berry clearly did not have a good view of what happened, which is understandable given Aplon’s pace!

“That he (Berry) did not see the rebound off Fourie was an error, but no more than that. There were lots of other errors in the game, as happens in a game played by human beings,” quoted the SA Referees website.

Author: Tank

Ex WP prop with a fair amount of experience in all things media ...


  1. I thought Stuart had a pretty good game; one of the better performances from a SA ref for a number of games.

    You get a sense of frustrations from the players (look at Lourens’ performance in ‘Saders vs Sharks) when a ref is being inconsistent, and I didn’t see that in this game.

  2. I also thought so John. Saw a few comments on Twitter saying otherwise, but not sure a ref can ever please everyone :)

  3. Was it not the job of the touch judges to assist the ref, or was Aplon to fast for them as well?