KSA Shark ©

TM-Oh no!

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Super 14 on 2 Mar 2009 at 07:20
Tagged with : , , , ,

Chiefs supporters had their knives out for the TMO on Saturday night, but were they focusing on the right man? Let’s start by splitting the blame 50-50 between imbecile television match officials and indecisive and dithering referees.

The TMO moniker is starting to more popularly be referred to as TM-Oh no! since Ben Skeen ruled out two Chiefs tries in the dying minutes of their loss to the Sharks in Hamilton on Saturday.

Toby Robson writes for The Dominion Post that the performance of the officials during the latest round of the Super 14 was at least poor, at worst embarrassing and not just because of the events in Hamilton – more on that later.

But believe it or not folks, Skeen got it right twice in ruling out tries to Chiefs captain Liam Messam and back Mike Delany – technically.

The truth is, when Messam was driven over the tryline, referee Bryce Lawrence produced a hospital pass of life-support proportions.

Referees effectively have two choices when they think a try may have been scored.

Option A: Award the try (Lawrence probably wishes he’d ticked A).

Option B: Go to the TMO.

Now listen carefully. After choosing option B the referee can ask his TMO one of two questions.

Both are simple. The first is: Try or no try? The second is: Is there any reason I cannot award the try?

The choice of question can be crucial and proved so with Messam’s non-try.

Lawrence asked the first, indicating he had no idea whether a try had been scored. Skeen then had to find decisive video evidence to prove the ball was grounded and without such a replay had no choice but to rule out the try.

Had Lawrence asked the second question, Skeen would have looked only for an offence such as a knock on, forward pass or foul play and the try would have stood.

Emotions aside, Mike Delany’s elbow hit the chalk simultaneously with the ball being grounded and minutes later Skeen again made the right call.

All of the above would have been avoided if Lawrence had just manned-up and awarded the try in the first place. But that wasn’t the only TMO botchup at the weekend, or during the previous two weeks.

When wing Zac Guildford crashed over in the tackle of Kade Poki at AMI Stadium, referee Stu Dickinson immediately went upstairs. He asked TMO Kane McBride: “Is there any reason I cannot award the try?”

After watching the replay umpteen times McBride awarded a try, ignoring the possible foot in touch or the complete lack of any visual evidence of grounding.

Later that night a bloke called B Bowden, not the cricket ump, awarded Force No 8 Richard Brown a try in Canberra under the same circumstance.

Replays showed no grounding and strongly suggested he had been held up by Brumbies wing Francis Fainifo. Bowden saw it differently.

Reasonable doubt clearly means nothing to these men even after tedious amounts of slow-mo replays.

They should all get MySky. They could spend hours deciphering everything from human emotion to wind direction. If they watched slowly enough, they would see Chiefs coach Ian Foster change colour to an intense shade called “I just aged 10 years in 10 seconds”.

The crux of the matter is referees need to take more responsibility. If they think a try has been scored, they should award it, not go to the TMO by default.

If they are in doubt, they should have just one question, not two: “I didn’t see it, do the replays show a try being scored?”

Unless it is sorted, the public will ask other more searching questions, like: “Did you remember your glasses?” Or perhaps: “Have you taken your medication?”


Referees can ask the TMO two questions after a try is scored:

Q1: Try or no try? This question is used when the referee is unsure, or unsighted, as to whether a try has been scored. The TMO must then find definitive evidence that a try has been scored.

Q2: Is there any reason I cannot award a try? This is asked when the referee believes a try has been scored. The TMO must then find a reason not to award the try, such as a knock on, player in touch etc.


  • 😈

    I was unsure of both of those decisions – but I don’t really care…we won!!!

  • Comment 1, posted at 02.03.09 07:56:40 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @blackshark (Comment 1) :

    I can’t figure out what this guy is trying to say with this article. other than that he is a Chiefs supporter and VERY pissed at losing. 🙂

    Here he says it for himself, the TMO got it right. But believe it or not folks, Skeen got it right twice in ruling out tries to Chiefs captain Liam Messam and back Mike Delany – technically.

  • Comment 2, posted at 02.03.09 08:01:57 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) :

    He’s really pissed at Bryce Lawrence… 😆

    To award or not to award? (Maybe he should’ve asked that way)… 🙄 🙄

  • Comment 3, posted at 02.03.09 08:06:18 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) : i agree, his article is disjointed and basically crap. the tmo is there to make sure the right call is made. so it is right the ref goes to the tmo. as far as i am concerned bryce owed us a game after last years shenanigans. we’ll call it all square and hope the sharks learn quickly that luck doesn’t wipe your arse forever. the sharks need to close down the opposition in the last 20 instead of going in defensive mode. if you really want to be critical of the sharks, you can question why they never went for the bonus point again. 3 tries with 15 to go a better team would go for the points. but i thought the sharks would lose this game so i’ll take it as 4 bonus points.

  • Comment 4, posted at 02.03.09 08:13:10 by try time Reply
  • @try time (Comment 4) :

    I actually commented on that over the weekend.

    Bryce didn’t really owe us a game at all. We should have LOST the game against the Hurricanes but Lawrence didn’t give them a penalty try and we drew.

    Two weeks later he set the record straight when the Brumbies beat us. So we were all square. 😉

    Just be glad that Marius Jonker is reffing us this weekend against the Blues and not Bryce Lawrence. 😉

  • Comment 5, posted at 02.03.09 08:19:32 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @try time (Comment 4) :

    On the Bonus point. Here is a comment from someone at RugbyHeaven on this article. (I have bolded the relevant piece)

    What I don’t hear you complaining about is the fact that Bryce Lawrence awarded a penalty to the Chiefs in the 73rd minute saying that JP Pietersen had “thrown the ball away” when he was bundled into touch by several tacklers. This highly dubious call was criticised even by the Kiwi commenters and set up the final 10 minutes of pressure. It was also interesting that after Lawrence gave the Chiefs 4 minutes of extra time to score a try, he promptly blew the whistle once they had knocked on and several Sharks appeared to have a clear run in to the tryline for what would have been the bonus-point try. Lets face it, he’s a shocking referee and officials like him make an absolute mockery of the decision to allow non-neutral, “merit-based” referees. Sharks supporters have not forgotten this clown’s performance in the game against the Brumbies last year. Lawrence should seek alternative employment.

    Obviously this poster is a Shark supporter but I would like to actually have a look formyself at that final whistle. On the day i was just to relieved to see the knock to bother at looking whether we would score a try if he played advantage.

  • Comment 6, posted at 02.03.09 08:23:10 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Well I thought in the case of the second referral where the elbow and grounding happened at the same time, the benefit of the doubt goes to the attacking team???

    Isn’t that the general rule of thumb?

  • Comment 7, posted at 02.03.09 08:24:09 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 7) :

    same time = touch, no try.

    @KSA Shark © (Comment 5) :

    Forget one game, ALL REFEREES owe us the SUPER 14.
    I don’t care how they delegate their duties… 😈

  • Comment 8, posted at 02.03.09 08:27:04 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • We certainly got lucky but sometimes you make your own luck. Massive defensive effort! I cant remember the last time i saw a team that knackered at the final whistle.

  • Comment 9, posted at 02.03.09 08:27:30 by billy Reply
  • @blackshark (Comment 8) :

    But they could not tell it apart, which happened first.

    So there is doubt.

    When there is doubt, benefit goes to the attacking team.

  • Comment 10, posted at 02.03.09 08:28:42 by Morné Reply
  • In my humble opinion…if you catch a ball at the same time you step on the sideline…you are out…(if you kick a ball from your 22 and you are on the line…are you outside or inside ur 22?)

    So if you ground the ball the same time as your elbow touch the sideline, you r out…that is what logic (even if its mine) says to me…

  • Comment 11, posted at 02.03.09 08:30:14 by Ice (you can leave your hat on!) Reply
  • @billy (Comment 9) :

    Billy – i could only watch the 1st half “live” and had to rely on highlight for the 2nd…I would have had a massive heart attack had I seen the 2nd live!! :mrgreen: My nerves were shot watching the highlights!! :mrgreen:

    Well done JP!!!!!!!

    Oh and I found a lot of ol’ Michalack’s type of play in our game…the little kcik wich resulted in some tries…glad its working eventually!!

    Who was MOM?

  • Comment 12, posted at 02.03.09 08:32:50 by Ice (you can leave your hat on!) Reply
  • Q2: Is there any reason I cannot award a try? This is asked when the referee believes a try has been scored. The TMO must then find a reason not to award the try, such as a knock on, player in touch etc.

    As if a players hand, arm, head or even body are not a good enough reason. It seems in this context that the TMO cant report on such matters but only on such knock ons, forward passes etc. Or am I not reading this correctly.

  • Comment 13, posted at 02.03.09 08:39:42 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 5) : yeah. bryce is on my hit list. with boschoff and the incompetent that reffed the reds cheetahs game. both guys have vokall idea what an offside line is.

  • Comment 14, posted at 02.03.09 08:39:43 by try time Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 10) :

    The tmo concluded that it happened at the same time.
    I had my doubts but it seems he didn’t have any – so – NO TRY!

  • Comment 15, posted at 02.03.09 08:40:43 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @Morné (Comment 10) :

    Don’t confuse League with Union. In league the benefit of doubt goes with the attacking team not so in Union.

  • Comment 16, posted at 02.03.09 08:41:15 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @Morné (Comment 10) :

    The Law does not make mention of a simultaneous touch of the line and grounding of the ball. It will be one of the things that unions decide on with their own internal clarification / interpretations.

    This was obviously the case here by SANZAR before the S14. Bryce mentioned “what did we say about simultaneous” while the try was being replayed on the big screen.

  • Comment 17, posted at 02.03.09 08:44:55 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @blackshark (Comment 15) :

    Yeah I saw it differently too.

    @KSA Shark © (Comment 16) :

    Oh okay then, my assumption was wrong.

  • Comment 18, posted at 02.03.09 08:45:29 by Morné Reply
  • I only watched the game yesterday but had a good chuckle at the Kiwi commentators, Fox and Nesbitt I think, who felt that when the TMO didnt sanction the Messam effort a penalty try should have been awarded – and those are always under the poles. 😆

  • Comment 19, posted at 02.03.09 08:47:35 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 6) : yes but we stopped playing the rugby that got us 22-15 up in the 65th minute and went into defence mode again. that is 3 games in a row. against the stormers we had 20 minutes to try and score 2 tries against a stormers team that has now shown in three weeks they are pathetic in the last 20. instead we played defensively. then the lions we had 20 minutes to score one try for a bp and we again went into defence mode. and again on saturday 15 minutes to score one try. our luck is going to run out soon. you cannot always defend successfully for 20 minutes. sometimes the best form of defence is attack. and again i question the class of our captain. but again let me say i am looking at this as a perfectionist. i am happy overall with where we are at. 12 points from 3 games is good and is the perfect starting block to a successful campaign. we must just be aware the blues and reds play better in the last 20 so we need to catch a wake up.

  • Comment 20, posted at 02.03.09 08:48:57 by try time Reply
  • 😈 I see the Lions wants Bakkies’ sited…

    have to say – the little Iwatche don that game, Grobbelaar really had a diry game…he dissapointed me big time – I can excpect anything of Bakkies and more,but from the Captian of a team (okay exclude the Bulls form that.. 😈 )…

  • Comment 21, posted at 02.03.09 08:49:17 by Ice (you can leave your hat on!) Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 7) : no the defending team.

  • Comment 22, posted at 02.03.09 08:51:21 by try time Reply
  • @Ice (you can leave your hat on!) (Comment 21) : ice, cobus was played out of the game by offside play by the bulls and some shocking decisions from the referee. the lions should feel aggrieved with the referee. he had a shocker.

  • Comment 23, posted at 02.03.09 08:58:07 by try time Reply
  • @try time (Comment 22) :

    Only be default. As in THIS case the try is not awarded.

    There is nothing in Union that says benefit of doubt goes to the defending side.

    An example of the benefit NOT going to the defending side is the ball being held-up in goal or if the team mauls it over the goal line and the ref cannot see the ball. Play is restarted with a 5m scrum with the attacking side putting the ball in. (you COULD of course say the defending side got the benefit of the doubt and they try wasn’t allowed) 😉

  • Comment 24, posted at 02.03.09 09:05:29 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @try time (Comment 20) :

    I don’t know whether they do it on purpose or if it’s the pressure coming from the opposition but I was surprised that after going at them – playing attacking rugby and racing to 22 we allowed the Chiefs to keep us on the back foot.

    Anyway- 4 points against the Chiefs in NZ count as 4 BP’s :mrgreen:

    And I’m happy that we seem to be improving with every game.

  • Comment 25, posted at 02.03.09 09:10:22 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @try time (Comment 23) :

    Thanks for clearing that up.. 😉

  • Comment 26, posted at 02.03.09 09:12:36 by Ice (you can leave your hat on!) Reply
  • Oh- I know that some people will always highlight Frans Steyn’s mistakes and dismiss all the positive stuff- but I thought he had a good game. Keep working hard boy!

    Ruan has not found his true mojo yet but he’s getting there.
    He was a bit more creative…

  • Comment 27, posted at 02.03.09 09:14:57 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @blackshark (Comment 27) :

    On Frans.
    I think he had a great game had a hand in one try and scored his own as well.

    on Ruan
    He hasn’t lost a S14 match this season. 😉 Need I say more? 😎

  • Comment 28, posted at 02.03.09 09:17:08 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 24) : which i would have had you not mentioned it.

  • Comment 29, posted at 02.03.09 09:20:43 by try time Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 28) : @blackshark (Comment 27) : yes i am getting used to frans. and i see the players around him are too. they are recycling the ball he gets from his linebreaks better. ruan hasn’t put a step wrong when you compare him to the other flyhalves in the comp. ruan is definately in the top 3. my top three being giteau ruan and weepu. funny thing is all three have played scrumhalf in the past.

  • Comment 30, posted at 02.03.09 09:25:24 by try time Reply
  • @try time (Comment 30) :

    It is a well known fact that scrummies are the most talented players on the pitch by far…

  • Comment 31, posted at 02.03.09 09:33:28 by Morné Reply
  • what he’s trying to say is that Bryce robbed them… both looked like tries, even though they actually weren’t. If the ref had had the balls to make a blatantly home-team call, then the fact that they technically weren’t tries wouldn’t have counted.

  • Comment 32, posted at 02.03.09 10:14:01 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 32) :


    The first one was in all probabilty a try but nobody saw the ball being grounded. I am afraid you can’t win games with probably tries. 😉

    We just need to remember this when it is one of OUR tries that are disallowed 😉 😛

  • Comment 33, posted at 02.03.09 10:17:03 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 33) : remember the game the sharks lost due to kaplan’s ten minute hum and hah when henno was definately over the line.

  • Comment 34, posted at 02.03.09 10:19:54 by try time Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 33) :

    :mrgreen: :mrgreen: What do you wanna bet that THAT is not gonna be remembered!!??

  • Comment 35, posted at 02.03.09 10:21:12 by Ice (you can leave your hat on!) Reply
  • TMO got it spot on. Nothing controversial. Clear as day.

    They should get over it and move on.

    You win some you lose some.

  • Comment 36, posted at 02.03.09 10:23:02 by McLovin Reply
  • Amla 50. 😎

  • Comment 37, posted at 02.03.09 10:23:25 by McLovin Reply
  • I thought Frans played really well.
    I read in the Times this morning that Ruan had a great game, and his defence was brilliant, I did not see that, I did however see a whole host of forwards and nearly everyone else in the team covering for him.
    Kockott must get a serious fine for that crap player, it coulda cost you guys.
    It was a damn tight game, great defence.
    I love Bismarks work, he turns over so much ball, and mostly with brute strength.

  • Comment 38, posted at 02.03.09 10:45:50 by molly Reply
  • Lawrence was shocking the WHOLE night. Ignoring what he didn’t give the Chiefs he:
    Sent off Kockott after holding back a player after a blatant forward pass (that’s 1 all in the forward pass department).
    Didn’t spot a 2nd forward pass from the Chiefs later in the game.
    Penalised Pieterson for throwing the ball away which was ridiculous.

  • Comment 39, posted at 02.03.09 11:34:59 by deanoelsch Reply
  • @deanoelsch (Comment 39) :

    His daddy is a big shot in the IRB he is safe.

  • Comment 40, posted at 02.03.09 11:46:32 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @deanoelsch (Comment 39) : I thought I was the only one who saw the forward pass. Still, what Rory did was stupid

  • Comment 41, posted at 02.03.09 12:11:10 by robdylan Reply
  • @deanoelsch (Comment 39) : Thats why they say you should always play to the whistle. It was childish of Kockott to act that way, after he CLEARLY knew the ref wasn’t going to award the scrum for a forward pass.

  • Comment 42, posted at 02.03.09 12:25:55 by molly Reply
  • Over and above all the mistakes Bryce made, let me add more.
    Score 22-8 …. high up and under on Delaney knocked forward and another Chief played it.Offside. Played the scrum. Should have been a penalty in front. 25 – 8.

    Almost full time 5 m out from Sharks goaline. Sharks scrum. Free kick to Chiefs – delaying engagement….. bullshit. Old Bryce couldn’t get the words out most of the scrum time.

  • Comment 43, posted at 02.03.09 13:17:18 by Ernie Reply
  • @Ernie (Comment 43) : agree… that first one was an appalling miss.

    Man, I’ve just realised I’m going to have to get up at 4am on Saturday

  • Comment 44, posted at 02.03.09 13:49:50 by robdylan Reply
  • OK, as for the first try where Bissie got his hand under the ball. Before Lawrence had talked to the TMO, the TJ came up to him and said he thought that there was a hand under the ball. Since Lawrence did not see the grounding, and the TJ thought it was held up, HOW IN THE WORLD DOES THE AUTHOR OF THIS ARTICLE THINK HE SHOULD HAVE ASKED TRY OR NO TRY??????? There was no evidence that either TJ or ref had seen that a try was scored, and there was evidence that the TJ had seen the ball held up, the referee had no choice but to ask the TMO try or no try. Sorry, but in both cases, the entire officiating crew actually got it right, and the Sharks were very lucky, but not because the officials got it wrong, they were lucky in the sense the Chiefs were very unlucky.

  • Comment 45, posted at 02.03.09 14:48:25 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Dancing Bear
  • Oh and there is 10 inches of snow on the ground, and more still falling. Yikes!

  • Comment 46, posted at 02.03.09 14:49:25 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Dancing Bear

  • Comment 47, posted at 02.03.09 14:52:34 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Dancing Bear
  • @robdylan (Comment 44) : You’re not watching the Cheetahs game at 2:30 then? 😉 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 48, posted at 02.03.09 15:06:59 by McLovin Reply
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 47) : it’s simple… he’s biased as hell! 🙂

  • Comment 49, posted at 02.03.09 15:11:59 by robdylan Reply
  • @McLovin (Comment 48) : how would one possibly stay awake through that?

  • Comment 50, posted at 02.03.09 15:12:22 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 50) : A definite 5 pointer for the Canes.

  • Comment 51, posted at 02.03.09 15:26:10 by McLovin Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 50) :

    when I’m frustrated I stay awake quite easily. 😛

  • Comment 52, posted at 02.03.09 15:29:20 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 45) :

    Thanks for that. I didn’t want to write all that out but i feel the same way. 😉

  • Comment 53, posted at 02.03.09 15:30:17 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @McLovin (Comment 51) : 10 picks for the canes on LMS so far

  • Comment 54, posted at 02.03.09 16:02:47 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 54) : I think that will probably be my pick as well. The Waratahs should be a safe pick as well.

  • Comment 55, posted at 02.03.09 16:11:34 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @robdylan (Comment 54) : Pretty safe bet.

  • Comment 56, posted at 02.03.09 16:15:43 by McLovin Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 55) : nah – those Aus derbies can go either way

  • Comment 57, posted at 02.03.09 16:35:53 by robdylan Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 33) : like the one against the lions – Round 2 😥
    funny that we do not need to look to far…

  • Comment 58, posted at 02.03.09 16:44:09 by rekinek Reply
  • and hello to everybody

  • Comment 59, posted at 02.03.09 16:44:41 by rekinek Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 41) : you play to the whistle – isn’t it how it goes?

  • Comment 60, posted at 02.03.09 16:45:49 by rekinek Reply
  • @rekinek (Comment 60) : that’s what I’ve always been told

  • Comment 61, posted at 02.03.09 16:53:02 by robdylan Reply
  • @rekinek (Comment 60) : Play to the whistle and stop running around with your hands in the air while the opp are running past you

  • Comment 62, posted at 02.03.09 16:53:12 by rahul Reply
  • @rekinek (Comment 59) : well halloooo to you tooo

  • Comment 63, posted at 02.03.09 16:55:15 by robdylan Reply
  • I see that Ice already asked but I do not think anybody answered 😳 – who was MOM ❓

  • Comment 64, posted at 02.03.09 16:58:09 by rekinek Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 63) : it turns out to be more hello and bye 😆
    I have just been told that I can go home so I will run 😆 😆 😆

  • Comment 65, posted at 02.03.09 17:01:22 by rekinek Reply
  • @rekinek (Comment 64) : no idea… I would have chosen Steyn, but it might also have been Pietersen

  • Comment 66, posted at 02.03.09 17:16:04 by robdylan Reply
  • I have had a good laugh reading your comments. http://www.stuff.co.nz also printed this article and Kiwis made comments, so to get a different perspective was refreshing. A Kiwi wrote basically that all Ausie and Saffa reffs are cheats. So from this comment I would assume he thinks that Lawrence, Walsh etc Piss champagne, what a tosser. It is because of this arrogance that I have been unable to switch allegiance to my New Countries teams. And as for One Eyed Cantabrians they are a bitter pill to swallow, hence the reason I have stayed a Loyal Sharks/Bok fan!!

  • Comment 67, posted at 02.03.09 22:17:43 by Dynamite Reply
  • @rekinek (Comment 64) :

    yes Rekinek…seems I am being gooied the BIG ignore… 🙄 👿

  • Comment 68, posted at 03.03.09 07:52:02 by Ice (you can leave your hat on!) Reply

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.