At a meeting of the top referees in South Africa this week, André Watson announced an IRB dispensation to extend the jurisdiction of the television match official.
SA Rugby referees website reports that no longer would the TMO have to confine himself to the actual scoring of a try. Now he will be allowed to go pack to the previous phase of play and take it from there.
The previous phase of play could be a tackle, a ruck, a maul, a scrum, a penalty kick, a free kick, a line-out or a kick-off.
The referee will ask the TMO one of two questions:
1. Please check the legality of this try.
2. Is there any reason why I cannot award the try.
The questions will be that specific, no longer Can you tell me try or no try?
Asked if the try is legitimate, the TMO will ask the producer to rewind to the previous phase. He may find a forward pass, a knock-on, obstruction, the ball held up – that sort of thing. He will then be able to tell referee and recommend how he should proceed.
In the case of the first question – about the legality of the try – the TMO will have to see the correct grounding of the ball and will check that first. If that is all in order he will check the action from the last phase to the possible scoring of the try. Here he will look for infringements, such as forward pass, knock-on, off-side, obstruction and foul play.
In the case of the second question – a reason not award a try – the TMO need not see the grounding of the ball. He will then look for knock-on, forward pass, ball held up, grounding short – that sort of thing. If he can find none of those he will say to the referee: There is no reason why you cannot award a try.”
Otherwise he may report: “Ball clearly held up; try cannot be awarded; game should restart with a five-metre scrum, attacking team to put in.”
As in France, so also in South Africa the TMO will be asked to examine incidents of foul play, in which case he will ask for a replay from stoppage to stoppage. Should he find foul play he would also be required to recommend the correct and appropriate sanctions.
Here the referee will say to the TMO: “I suspect foul play. Can you please advise.”Tweet