SANZAR’s refereeing boss, Lyndon Bray of New Zealand, has removed Josh Noonan of New Zealand from his appointment as an assistant referee at Carisbrook on Friday night.
Noonan was an assistant referee to Chris Pollock in last weekend’s match between the Crusaders and the Hurricanes in Christchurch. He got a line call wrong and most probably denied the Highlanders a try early in the first half when the Crusaders were leading 10-0.
This happened when Andy Ellis and Colin Slade were both waiting to catch a high kick by Matt Berquist of the Highlanders. They each had a foot in touch but Slade knocked the ball which was still infield further infield where Adam Thomson of the Highlanders picked it up and ran through to “score”, but was brought back because Noonan had his flag up. After consultation it was decided that the ball was not out and so a scrum was awarded for the knock-on. Noonan was wrong to have raised his flag.
Bray has kept his promise on accountability by removing Noonan from the touch-line and instead making him the television match official, swapping places with Kane McBride.
The refereeing management felt it would not be right to have Noonan on the touch-line for the Highlanders’ next match.
Bray said Noonan had admitted his error immediately after the match and accepted his removal from the assistant’s referee role this weekend. Bray expected Noonan to return to an assistant’s role in week four.
Bray said: “From my point of view this isn’t a witch-hunt on Josh Noonan.
“As referees we are working as a team just as the Super 14 teams are and we have to have a value of accountability.”
Bray said he looked for three things in considering these situations – accountability, the impact of the error (which was a try to the Highlanders) and the impact of the next appointment.
Bray said they “didn’t feel it would be a good fit” for Noonan to be involved so close to the action on Friday night with the Highlanders involved again.
Bray said: “It’s not in his or the Highlanders’ interest to put him back in there.”
It would be interesting to see if any action will be taken against television match official Steve Leszczynski who also got a decision wrong which involved a possible try, and he did not have to make an instant decision as Noonan had done.
Article Courtesy of Rugby 365.Tweet