“I don’t need a TV to tell me Red 7 needs to roll clear”
If ever evidence was needed for Rugby to finally rid itself of the curse that is the TMO, last night’s Super Rugby Final should provide the final prompt for Rugby Officialdom to set the wheels in motion.
A previously way-too-long, dreary SupeRugby season finally had life breathed into it by one of the finest games of Rugby seen in some time, only to be nearly ruined by one of the worst TMO gaffes made in recent memory – yes the ‘Try’ scored by the Crusaders best player by a mile this year Namani Nadolo – a try that was awarded by serial TMO offender George Ayoub.
In what was a case of swings and roundabouts, the game (and paying public) were given the right result (the Waratah’s clearly being the better side on the night which most have acknowledged since) when in the last three minutes referee Craig Joubert penalised Crusaders flanker Richard McCaw for a ruck infringement in a decision which clearly was borderline at best when reviewed.
This in itself proves that a ‘swings & roundabouts’ approach to decision making ensures the paying public get just as many correct decisions by the man or woman with the whistle as opposed to use of someone sitting in a box armed with a punnet of chips and a remote control who has little or no feel for what is actually happening on the field of play.
So what did last night’s howler prove – simply that Rugby doesn’t need to TMO.
Most sports including Rugby League, Cricket, Basketball, Baseball, NFL and even Soccer with goal line technology make some use of additional technological resource to assist decision-making, however all these needless additions provide are lengthy delays to the paying public with no real proof that better decisions are actually being made in any of these examples.
Rugby has a real opportunity to move in the opposite direction and prove in this modern sporting world that human feel and natural justice are enough in this day and age where everything we do is monitored in some way by technical intervention.
Ditch the bloody thing.