Tag Archives: TMO

Heimlich Maneuver in the Park

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With the waiting finally over the World Cup kicked off with an amazing ceremony in Auckland before the All Blacks took on Tonga on last Friday night.

What has been great about all the matches so far is that all the so called ‘minnows’ are anything but. The conditions have played there part – but the smaller nations have stepped up and significantly demonstrated that the gap is closing.

An upset is definitely on the cards. Other than the All Blacks obligatory choke! It seems that 24 years is too long to wait – and the pressure is mounting with Graham Henry rotating his team yet again.

The biggest talking point was over the officiating of the Wales v South Africa match – with the Welsh squad and management calling foul over a missed penalty kick.

A kick that missed. A kick that the replays showed as inconclusive – but appeared to have missed. A kick that THREE officials all agreed missed.

Lets not focus on the other two missed penalties, their try from a forward pass or the missed dropped goal in front of the posts. Wales smashed South Africa all over the park – but couldn’t seal the deal.

But rather than focus on their own short comings they are focusing on blaming the officials for not taking the action they are not able to take – and the action that if they did (by going to the TMO) – would have told them the kick missed!

Last weekend I had an irate coach very unhappy about a similar moment within the first half. A line out within their 22 that led to a driving maul and a crash over try.

The coach was furious – lambasting me for not noticing it was not straight. It was straight but that is irrelevant. On and on he went about parity and continuity.

I nodded and listened and then mischievously suggested it may not have been straight – a rare error from me on the day. But there were many errors and problems in the game. I offered to go as far as buying him a pint for every error he felt I made – in exchange for a pint for every mistake his team made.

He declined ruefully.

His team lost 66-0!

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Do or do not. There is no TRY!

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The All Blacks were well beaten in an old fashion tussle in their Tri-Nations match against the Boks in Port Elizabeth. It was their first loss of the season, but the ABs looked over confident and somewhat arrogant in their approach, resting several key players. However, there is a lack of depth to this side on this showing, which will worry the home faithful – with New Zealand favourites to win the World Cup next month.

However, the biggest talking point of the game came when Jimmy Cowan appreared to have scored a dodgy try. Israel Dagg had been hauled down just short after a scintillating break, and popped the ball up (and three meters forward) to Cowan to dive over the line.

First thing first. Its staggering how many elite players cannot pass the ball backwards. These are internationals, they know what they are doing. Its unbelievable the poor level of skill they demonstrate at times.

Now, back to the try. Referee George Clancy was clearly unsure and Kiwi/English Assistant Ref Andrew Small – who was in perfect position, was of no help (as usual) and so Clancy went to the TMO Johan Meuwesen.

After telling Clancy that there was no problem with the grounding he then offered some further advice: “Do you need any other information before the goal line?”. “ummmm. Sure!” said Clancy. The TMO informed the Ref there was a forward pass. Clancy ruled the forward pass without hesitation.

Now this was the right thing to do. It was a forward pass. Had the try stood it would have been a travesty. The Kiwi press were mixed – but most lambasted the officials for going outside agreed protocols. Paddy O’Brien, IRB Head of Referees was furious and said the matter will be reviewed.

Paddy is himself a Kiwi, a once great referee, but he may be a little more partisan than he should – particularly when you consider he was one of the driving forces behind promoting fellow Kiwis Andrew Small and Bryce Lawrenson to International status – both still totally out of their depth.

Graham Henry was gracious in defeat, stating that if it was a forward pass then it shouldn’t have been a try. The IRB need to get to grips and help referees further. If it is clear that something has occurred in the act of scoring the try then they should be allowed to intervene.

Given that the majority of referees will never have the benefit of other officials or TMOs, we have to use our initiative, and as often as possible, we have to use the Force!