The South African Rugby Referees Association have apologised for the time wasting during the Currie Cup match between the Blue Bulls and the Sharks here last week.
Morris Gilbert writes in Beeld that André Watson, the SA Rugby Union’s manager of referees’ affairs, confirmed on Thursday that an official letter about the matter had been sent to the two unions.
Unreserved apology is expressed in the letter for the delays that were caused by the application of the law regarding extended powers to television match officials.
The match at Loftus Versfeld overran normal time by approximately 30 minutes after referee JC Fortuin had repeatedly referred decisions to the TMO, Michael Cupido.
“It is unacceptable that so much time is wasted through TMO decisions,” Watson said.
“We met on Monday night to speed up and streamline the process without losing any accuracy. I expect things to run much better this weekend.”
Called upon too often
TMOs are not the only ones who will have to be cautious from now on. Referees have also been hauled over the coals for “taking the easy way out” by referring decisions to the officials watching the replays on video.
“Referees are on the field for a specific purpose – to make decisions,” Watson said. “They should call for assistance from the TMO only in exceptional cases.
“The TMO is called upon too often as a precautionary measure when it is actually the referee’s job to position himself in such a way that he can make the best call in matters such as the scoring of a try.
“It’s no good we cultivate a generation of brilliant TMOs but merely average referees.
“Referees have been warned that an approach of that nature could explode, not only on their faces, but in the faces of all of us.
“Referees must, among other things, not permit players to tell them to call upon the TMO to rule on foul play.
“Only when the referee or one of his assistants sees an incident of foul play, may it be referred to the TMO,” Watson said.
He has also instructed referees to be clear in the questions they put to the TMO.Tweet