Watson backs TMO’s – millions wouldn’t

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, In the news on 7 Jul 2008 at 09:25
Tagged with :

Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. This is the plea from former Test referee André Watson after a television match official took nearly 30 minutes to make decisions during a Currie Cup rugby match at the weekend.

Morris Gilbert writes for Beeld.

Watson, the SA Rugby Union’s manager of referees’ affairs, responded on Sunday to criticism of the extended powers given to the TV officials, also known as TMOs.

Michael Cupido, the TMO during the match between the Blue Bulls and the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, took approximately half an hour to rule on incidents referred to him by the referee, JC Fortuin.

Watson said it had never been the intention to extend matches for such a long time to ensure the correct decisions were made.

“What happened on Saturday was by no means ideal. I agree that matters cannot continue in this manner because then we’ll have to reconsider the extended powers of the TMO.

“But we must keep in mind that the extended powers have applied for only a few weeks. There will be growing pains.

“Much honing has to be done but the principle cannot be faulted because it will result in better rulings,” Watson said.

However, some experts do not agree with him. Among these is John Plumtree, coach of the Sharks.

Plumtree feels the delays are slowing the game down and making it boring while the experimental laws have been introduced specifically to speed up the game and make it more exciting.

Plumtree was particularly critical of the TMO’s new powers to also rule on foul play.

“This is completely unnecessary because players who are guilty of foul play can be punished within the existing structures,” Plumtree said at the weekend.

“That is why officials are appointed to watch every match and cite incidents of foul play.”

Other critics have pointed out that referees may start “hiding” behind the TMOs more and more and that they may in the end not feel free to make any tough calls themselves.


  • The delays were terrible, it really made the game so disjointed. I guess if we had one i may have had another opinion. The way the sharks played i wanted the game to be shorter not longer!

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.07.08 10:24:58 by billy Reply
  • i disagree with plumtree. had there been the tmo allowed to make a decision during the bok game, brad thorn would have been yellow or red carded. this would have made a big difference to the result. no point citing a player after the fact as his indiscretions doesn’t benefit the opposition that the offence was against. it is like citing a player and weakening the team for the next opposition. that next opposition could be on the same log points as the team that the indiscretion was against and the suspension of such player helps them beat the team thereby double punishing the other team. also had brad thorn got the just card on saturday, the boks would have played against a 14 man team. brad has been suspended for 1 week, but in the next match the ab’s will still start with 15 men. where is the advantage to the team that has lost a player through injury caused by foul play.

    as for the time it takes for such a decision, tmo’s need to speed up the process. that prick on saturday was not only slow, but seriously incompetent. remember he is the same official that robbed the bulls of a try and win last year in the s14. the tmo’s need to be thoroughly trained and should be watching the game carefully and in most cases could give the decision without having to refer to the replays.

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.07.08 12:49:54 by try time Reply
  • Well all I am saying is that the TMO on Saturday was very bad…took forever to make a call…did not make sense when reporting back…JC had to ask him everytime what is he actually saying…and in spite of taking long still made wrong decisions….

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.07.08 17:16:08 by Hmmm Reply
  • TMO was shit over the weekend.

    JC Fortuin’s absolute incompetnecy also didn’t help. At one point I thoguht Cupido was going to laugh at him at times.

    The TMO has been taken way too far. And in a season characterised by ELV introductions, we really could do without this additional farce.

    Saturday was unacceptable.

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.07.08 17:44:11 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • I thought that Cupido did alright under the circumstances. The directions from Fortuin were appalling, in one instance he asked for a decision on grounding and also an incident at a ruck “a few phases back”. How could that not take ages to check? Fortuin continuously asked for indiscretions at rucks without referring to which side he thought had committed them.

    I also agree with Vin that introducing the new ELVs and the extended TMO in the same season is ridiculous.

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.07.08 17:52:59 by Flashman Reply

  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 4) :

    The best was where they pulled the Bulls back from a 5 meter scrum to a penalty on the halfway line…LoL
    And when Kuun said he’d rather stay where he was JC said it would have been there had we seen it…even after Kuun asked what about advantage….

    Only thing that should have decided is if it was a yellow card…and it was not…so play had to resume as is….it was not even in a goal kickable position….

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.07.08 17:55:56 by Hmmm Reply

  • @Flashman (Comment 5) :

    Nope…I don’t agree….Cupido got the Tiger try wrong…that was a clear forward pass…the Rossouw try he did not allow wrong…that was a clear try…how does lifting yourself to get the ball out from under you and stretching constitute in a double movement…the recommendation to go back for the penalty on halfway when the Bulls were in a much better position with a 5 meter scrum….what is he trying to say…cozz of the foul play the try would have been disallowed because of the earlier foul play…

    And Cupido was not clear at all in his recommendations….JC had to ask him several times what is he actually saying….

    They both were equally bad…

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.07.08 18:01:40 by Hmmm Reply

  • @Hmmm (Comment 7) : Fair points. I disagree that the Tiger try was brought about by a forward pass but you’re spot on about the other two.

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.07.08 18:07:58 by Flashman Reply

  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 4) :

    Classic example of “referee’s hiding behind the TMO’s” as mentioned above.

    JC Fortuin hardly had the balls to make ANY of his own calls. Most ref’s would NOT be THAT afraid or insecure to refer so MANY calls to the TMO.

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.07.08 18:26:44 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Plumtree shouldn’t complain tooooooooo much.

    We would have lost against WP had it not been for the TMO ruling on fould play.

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.07.08 18:27:36 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Hmmm (Comment 7) :

    They were both absolutely pathetic.

    An English mate of mine watching the game actually phoned me afterwards to ask if Fortuin was a a quota appointment. He reckons he was appalling and he has an objective eye.

    I thought Fortuin was unwilling to take any decisions himself and this put Cupido under trememndous pressure.

    That whole shpiel of asking Cupido to go back a few phases to check for foul play was pednatic to the extreme.

    Cupido wasn’t great but the fact that he was pretty much refereeing the game from the studio meant he was going to make mistakes.

    A shocker though was Roussouw’s try. There is no such thing as “double movement” in rugby union. That term is reserved fro league where the definition of what constitutes a double movement is also a lot stricter.
    That said, even in league most refs would’ve given that try.

    In union refs blow players not for double movement but for playing the ball on the ground.
    But you’re still allowed to place the ball and that’s what he did.

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.07.08 18:35:54 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 9) :

    Exactly. Why even have a ref onthe field then.
    Just get a panel with a buzzer like on a gameshow sitting in the studio and get them to make the decisions.

    They could have them commentate on the stadium annoucner’s mike and the whistle could also be blown like a stadium horn to halt play.

    The onfield ref in my imaginary scenario would still do more on the field than JC Fortuin.
    I really can’t believe they pay him to do that.

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.07.08 18:41:13 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • I thought Fortuin was unwilling to take any decisions himself and this put Cupido under trememndous pressure

    And then everytime Cupido gave him a decision he had the audacity to try and second guess the guy.

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.07.08 18:41:32 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 10) : no – we may have drawn. The momentum was clearly going in our favour at that stage and if it hadn’t been for the penalty that Rocket struck, we may well have had another, legit one. Anyway, worst-case scenario we might have drawn.

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.07.08 18:48:27 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 13) :

    lol. Yes I saw that. Why ask if you’ve already made up your mind.

    Half the problem that fortuin has is that he can’t speak English properly.

    I really wish he’d find another career – it takes a bit of a shine off my monaing about Ozzie refs when we put him forward to ref s14 games.

    I’ve only seen him ref twice (full games) and both times the commentators were uncomfortably questioning his competency.

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.07.08 18:51:46 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 14) :

    Just as well it was your first gmae then. Because the momentum never returned after that…

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.07.08 18:52:27 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 16) : dude – if we play like this again, we’re going to finish last.

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.07.08 18:53:44 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 17) :

    Rob – I hate to be the voice of reason here but you’ve been playing like that all season. Only difference is that earlier in the season you weren’t letting in any tries so at least your kickers could win you games.

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.07.08 18:57:12 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 18) : no ways, pal… we haven’t been THAT BAD before. Sad thing is, we’ve started out badly and are getting worse.

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.07.08 19:03:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 19) :

    Only team that scored less bonus points than the Sharks in the 2008 super14 competiton was the lions.

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.07.08 19:06:45 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • We are going to have to hold on until we get our Boks back and hope we don’t lag to far behind.

    The Worry is that when we get the Boks back we still don’t have a flyhalf worthy of even playing in the VC. 🙁

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.07.08 19:15:39 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 21) :

    Chris Roussouw might be in the market…

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.07.08 19:26:44 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 22) :


    Right now i’d be happy to have him there. 🙁

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.07.08 19:29:22 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 23) : as would I. YUCK! As long as he brings Scholtz, Brussow, Vermeulen and Bioplus with him.

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.07.08 19:37:55 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Flashman (Comment 8) :

    If you watched the grass-cut lines on the field you’d see that Olivier passes at the start of one block/column and Delport catches it at the end…and I checked…the lines were quite accurately in line with the lines on the field…

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.07.08 20:04:15 by Hmmm Reply

  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 11) :

    But usually if double movement is blown it is form moving the feet…not for stretching the upper body…

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.07.08 20:07:09 by Hmmm Reply

  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 12) :

    Exactly. Why even have a ref onthe field then.

    Cozz the players cannot hear the whistle from the studio…

  • Comment 27, posted at 07.07.08 20:08:35 by Hmmm Reply

  • @Hmmm (Comment 27) :

    Erm… over the stadium hooter… a louder whistle.

    The three refs can sit there and as soon as they spot an infringement they push a big red button, like on a game show. Horn blows in the stadium and they talk over the Mike into the stadium.
    Later on we could have little micrphones inserted intpo the bone behind the players ear and he could then chat to them over the “veldore”.

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.07.08 23:04:42 by VinChainSaw Reply

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