TMO - Time to Move On? - Green and Gold Rugby

TMO – Time to Move On?

TMO – Time to Move On?

Alright, so here we are on the end of another shellacking. What could be fixed in terms of Wallaby performance has been covered pretty well in other articles. Overall I think it was some of our best rugby of the year, despite us maybe getting a bit of rough from the TMO.

After containing my angst quite well to post in The GAGR Forums about this, I’m going to discuss the incident involving the Speight non-try, and not in the way you might think.



The call from the TMO to review and subsequently disallow the Speight try is in the book, and there is nothing we can do about it.

Cheika said himself after the game (and I paraphrase): “its a turning point if we lose by one score, perhaps…”

However, it does raise some interesting questions about the TMO Protocol, particularly as they relate to the extent of powers, and effect on the game.

The TMO Protocol is on the World Rugby Laws site, and to save you the time reading it, I’ve cut the 5 pages into the important bits (yep, I’m a top bloke).

Embracing Technology

It is firstly important to note that the actions of the TMO hinge largely on the available technology. In most Test arenas, particularly for competitions like RWC, 6N, and TRC, these are requirements of the broadcaster, so are negotiated to a high standard for the viewing public.

It is also important to note that the broadcast or its director are only mentioned three times in the document: in 1.5 in a liaison role, in 1.6 in terms of providing all angles available, and in 1.10 relating to putting images on the big screen as part of the review process.

What the Protocol doesn’t state in any capacity is any restriction or responsibility on the part of the broadcaster as it relates to influencing decisions.

Probably the most memorable incident of this for me was the England v Fiji RWC2015 opener, where Fiji looked to have scored an excellent try before the big screen showed Peyper a knock-on (fast forward to 1:15).

At the time, that was quite controversial, and not just because we all hate Poms ;)

It was the demonstration of power that a broadcaster had to get a home town decision at a crucial moment. Stick it up on the big screen, get the crowd to bay and holler, and get the ref’s attention. That is an important fact when considering the way the Protocol is written, because if you give the director enough time (see below about conversion kicks), you give yourself enough rope.

In this case, it was the correct decision. As with many arenas, technology is good or bad, depending how you use it.

TMO Protocol Drill Down

While we’re moving that direction, here are the summary bits from the Protocol, relating to Dayne Haylett-Petty’s actions:

TMO AttackingTeam

All fairly cut and dried. In the opinion of the officials, with no doubt (2.5), DHP obstructs a tackler as per section 2.3 above, try disallowed, penalty All Blacks.

Keep in mind the part in 2.1 about what I call the interval of decision which is “.. after a try is awarded and before the conversion is struck.”

In the context of most games, this is much more important to the outcome of the decision.

That interval might only be a few seconds if the kicker scores under the posts and takes a drop goal for conversion.

It might be a minute or more as the kicker walks back, waits for the tee, then has another 60 seconds to knock it over. A very important kick from wide out might take up to 90 seconds between try and kick.

The interval that the TMO has to adjudicate on is highly variable – even inconsistent. And that is going to give you inconsistent results when you apply it.

Looking also at point 2.2, we see how this part of the Protocol operates in terms of what I’m referring to as interval of adjudication – “not further … than two previous rucks and/or mauls”.

This seems like a fairly sensible parameter to adjudicate incidents affecting the outcome. It means we’re not going back and wasting whole minutes of game play, and yet we should still get a decent window of finding the perpetrator, judge the crime, and move on accordingly. In fact, I thought it was only one phase, which IMHO is quite enough in most cases. But two it is.

In this case, the interval of adjudication started with the Wallaby scrum inside their own half at 44:40 by the TV clock. Only one ruck-thing was formed between that scrum and Speight getting to the in-goal at 45:20. No mauls. One other tackle-thing which didn’t form a ruck.

The Whole Picture

As we have the luxury of the TMO spotting infringements back to the last scrum, we can roll the tape back a bit.

The next major action is obstruction by two All Blacks on DHP. Ironically, the first is from Savea, and then another by Read.

TMO AB Obstruction

These two infringements are adequately covered in section 3 of the document regarding the defending team. I’ll let you read it, but it is pretty much the same as Section 2 for the attacking team… though, strangely, has only 5 points compared to Section 2’s 8 points. Because rugby Laws are just weird (?).

Are these incidents – which are identical under the Laws to what DHP did – somehow less in terms of infringement because they occurred a few seconds earlier? Is the intent of the two players any different? Doesn’t look like it.

Therefore, you could easily disallow the try because of the last obstruction, and go back to these two obstructions before. Result is the Wallabies get a penalty just inside the AB half. That’s consistent and fair, and easily explained.

In this case, its simply because these two incidents didn’t register with the TMO. The more visually apparent change of line by DHP is the one scrutinised, and he has to think hard about “Enough Rope” for next time.

The Fourth Leg of Protocol

As a last point, let’s consider all I’ve discussed in conjunction with the section of the document regarding foul play:

TMO foulplay

I’ve highlighted the only bit I can find about a time interval i.e. prior to the next restart in play. There is no direction over whether this overrides the other parts of the Protocol, or whether this purely to be considered under the same guidelines as Law 10 Foul Play taking precedence over other Laws in the opinion of the referee.

Do we have a situation where the Two Phase limit of Section 2 can be overruled by Section 4? Perhaps. How far down the Foul Play route do we go before deciding some Foul Play incidents merit more investigation than others?

Its a bit of a slippery slope, and really, we’ve never had a great TMO system that everyone is happy with to date.

The Moving On Bit

Do I have any answers?

Well, I might change the Protocol to force a review of all incidents in the last two phases, but that might be whole minutes of game time. I think definitely if the TMO is going to spot something after a try is awarded, then its probably safe that he go back at least a few seconds before his first instinct, to ensure something else hasn’t occurred.

Maybe that could work if we also bump the Protocol to ONE phase maximum. Already I can see that is going to lead to controversy…

I’m a big fan of the challenge system, where each Captain gets a shot at one review per half. Under this system, the TMO just sits there until he’s called upon – kind of like in cricket – and gives a specific decision. That may still be overridden by foul play incidents of course.

Like with cricket DRS, it would also make the Captain look at the game situation and decide whether it was worth using his one challenge per half.

These are only minor things, though. Its a tough job trying to get everyone making everyone happy in a world with instant replays and microscopic HD super-slowmo.

Perhaps the real issue to address is home town broadcaster, which as I said above is not adequately covered in the Protocol.

I think the next logical step for World Rugby is to ensure there is some kind of consistency around how the broadcasters replay incidents on screen. Particularly scoring incidents.

If everyone is getting the same treatment, home or away, then consistent outcomes are more likely.


“Hey Alain, do you think Pfitzy might be onto something?”



“Wait up Brett, – who the hell is Pfitzy?”

  • The challenge thing look good Pfitzy.

    • Pedro

      The only thing that would be weird would be the focus on the players decisions, with petty or stupid referrals being the focus rather than the rugby.

      Any time a team would score to win and a referral remained you would see it.

      • Kevino

        Make it like field hockey, you get a referal but you have to tell them what they are looking for. One thing only from the play. Foot in touch, means foot in touch only.

        • Pedro

          Yeah but come on. They’d see some other little thing and have to choose whether to ignore it or rule on it and everyone would lose their mind. Look into you heart, you know it to be true.

        • Kevino

          It narrows down the replay and only looks at the point of reference. You skip all the if but maybes by not showing them.

  • Overall, I don’t think the TMO rules need changing. Generally it works well and however we tinker with the rules it won’t prevent human error which is what was at fault yesterday. The TMO looked at the DHP situation, wrongly in the opinion of just about everyone – including the NZ commentary team that I got watching here in the UK – adjudged it to be foul play and said the try should be chalked off. For whatever reason, the ref was unwilling to overrule him.

    I wouldn’t object to captains having a referral right once per half. Generally I wouldn’t object to going back only 1 phase but when you’ve got a team doing pick up and drive at the goal line, two phases isn’t long and you want to catch things like neck rolls and other dangerous play and go back to card the players properly I think rather than let them get away with it, affect the match they’re in and leave it to the citing officer so two phases isn’t bad.

    I agree about a replay on the big screen influencing the referee, as we had in the opening game of the RWC. I’m not sure how to address that. No showing the replay at the ground until after the conversion unless the ref or TMO asks for a review? Saying the referee can’t overrule a decision to award a try unless the TMO points out foul play (but can still stop play and refer it for review)?

  • Gilbert

    We need some help. We have been a work in progress for 10 years. Bring back Eales.

  • Patrick

    I like the challenge idea.

  • I’m sorry but I don’t call shoulder to shoulder “clear and obvious” obstruction.

    Imagine this scenario, exactly the same as last night but Speight has a fullback to beat:

    DHP running a support line decides it’s in his best interest to get outside Speight to be ready for the pass and takes that exact same line through Savea. Speight takes a tackle from the fullback and pops it it DHP who scores. Is that obstruction?

    I believe it should be within a supporting players rights to be wherever they want in support of the ball carrier and it’s not like he stuck out a hand and held Savea back (like Read and Savea actually did). That incidental shoulder-to-shoulder contact is never enough to overrule the onfield decision and that’s before you even consider whether Savea ever even had a chance of catching Speight.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate people have got the ruling wrong. It wasn’t an obstruction ruling about shoulder to shoulder, that is for two people chasing a loose ball and is legal. Law 10.1 c specifically says a player must not deliberately interfere with a player attempting to make a tackle and that’s what the decision was based on.

      • Ok sure, like I said above what if DHP wanted to run a support line?

        If anyone can point to one example in the history of rugby where that law was used for a player behind the ball carrier I’ll let it go. Until then I’ll continue to believe (like 99% of the non-kiwi population of the world) that the try should not have been overturned – especially when it was given as a try on field and a TMO needs “clear and obvious” evidence to overturn a ruling.

        • Who?

          This is an interesting historic precedent.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Fair enough. Something we’ll never agree on then

        • Dom

          Which is to say either you know shit all about rugby or you don’t care.

        • David H

          Can’t we all go back to talking about Owen Franks and Romain Poite in Bledisloe II? That was much more interesting.

        • John Tynan

          No real need for that.

        • I Should be Coach

          Actually here in the US we had kiwi commentators. Justin Marshall called it BS as well. He claimed it was a fair try.

      • Unanimous

        The law says a player must not prevent an opponent from making a tackle. A little shoulder push to a player not in position to make a tackle does not constitute preventing a tackle.

        There is another law against pushing opponents that may have been considered in these circumstances, but the conversation between TMO and the ref did not touch on this.

        The TMO call was wrong. But mistakes happen, so just get on with it

        • bullrush

          This was an easy call for the TMO to make. You can’t allow ‘support’ players to take out chasing defenders – it’s not gridiron.

          For those who seem to think that it happens all the time, please post evidence of it.

    • Grant NZ

      “it’s not like he stuck out a hand and held Savea back”

      Except when he did.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    I think you nail this with the issue of home town officials having the ability to reply whatever they want and influencing the game. I personally don’t have an issue with referee mistakes as I think it’s part of the game and let’s face it they still make less than the players. It’s just something you have to live with as a player and move on. I’m sure that if an honest unbiased individual was to review any game the mistakes would probably balance out in the main.
    I don’t think that there should be any replays on a screen immediately after a try and before the conversion unless called up by the referee. I’m not sure trying to legislate against replays would work but I do think something should be done to stop influencing the officials during a match

    • First time long time

      KRL, KRL, KRL, it was a try try try! There is nothing that can be said or done to convince me otherwise……. Granted, the officials deemed not worthy of 5/7 points but that’s just semantics

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate there are a number of topics where we’ll never agree. More than happy to discuss with anyone who doesn’t respond like a cock as some have. TBH I think if I was refereeing a similar instance I would have ruled exactly the same on both this one and Coles one. MY view (and only my opinion I know) is that the ruling against DHP was correct because his actions prevented Savea from the chance of making a tackle and that goes against the main concept of rugby in that all instances are meant to allow for a fair contest. It’s not saying Savea would have caught Speight and I agree he probably wouldn’t have but to me that’s not the issue, the issue is that he prevented Savea from having a chance to stop him. I know I won’t change your mind mate and not really trying to, just saying how I saw it.

        I thought Foley and Coles were both just going for the ball and Foley won. Kudos to him as to me he was the best Wallaby on the field. I always said he wasn’t a 12.

        • first time long time

          The referee is the sole interpreter of the law….. just about sums it up really.

  • Pedro

    Great insight Pfitzy, it was much more constructive of you to put this together rather than pound your fists against a brick wall until they’re bloody stumps, believe me.

    I think the tmo should only be able to rule on stuff that is either foul play or consequential to a try being scored. What DHP did was neither and happens constantly when players jockey for position as seen in the lead up AGAINST him.

    Now back to the bloody wall punching!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Sorry mate the ruling was foul play. That’s what law 10.1 c is part of

  • LoveThePoop

    Really gone above and beyond here pfitzy, well done… it’s a shame Moore or foley didn’t point out the initial obstruction attempt on DHP… I’d love to have know what Owens response would’ve been

    • anor

      Owens response would’ve been “Walk away Stephen”

  • Tonald

    Perhaps a tennis style “challenge” system?

    • Tonald

      Oops should have read the whole article…

  • Bulldog Sing

    Protest: 3rd v. 2nd. Upheld.. 3rd to 1st

  • mikado

    Good article!

    “Home broadcaster” definitely makes things unfair. Debatable to me however whether to just accept this as just one of the many advantages the home team gets, or whether to police the broadcaster. It’s not just tries of course, but also foul play where the broadcaster can influence things.

    I’m not too keen on the “challenge” idea. I don’t think it is necessarily fair (some captains may be better informed than others, eg by said home broadcaster). It could slow play further (if a captain makes an unlikely challenge in desperation, or if a team uses the challenge tactically).

    I think two phases out is probably right, if nothing else because it doesn’t seem to be drawing too many complaints. Reducing to one phase does increase the risk of things going uncorrected. Just because the allowable review period can extend two phases it doesn’t necessarily mean that all the footage from those two phases needs to be reviewed. The Ump/TMO should only be looking for that clear and obvious thing that prompted the review in the first place.

    As others have noted, DHP’s barge on Savea contravened Law 10.1.c. (Leave aside the issue of whether or not that had a material effect on play.) The apparent previous grabs by Read and Savea at DHP don’t contravene this law, which might give at least the barest justification for one offence being picked and not the other. Or to put another way, interfering with a potential tackler is arguably more egregious than interfering with a potential support runner. Or maybe not.

  • swingpass

    personally id just get rid of the whole TMO thing, i cant recall it ever stopping a controversy, it just adds to the frustrations of all concerned. both teams should live and die by the Refs decisions and accept that they will be wrong sometimes and make outright howlers on a few occasions. its the same for cricket for me. ps great article

  • Unanimous

    Good article on the whole. Two points:

    In this case, there was no home town broadcaster causing this issue. There was no replay on the big screen until the TMO interfered. You can find a clip on you tube with Kiwi commentators, and they were astounded by the TMO decision, and flat out said it was a mistake. So it’s a little bit strange to be concluding something about home town broadcaster bias from this instance. You make some good points in that regard however.

    The reason the Kiwi commentators said it was wrong is because law 10.1 c defines the offence as a player preventing an opponent from making a tackle. A little shoulder push on a player not in a position to make a tackle does not constitute prevention of a tackle. This was the law discussed by the TMO when Nigel Owens dubiously took his advice, so we know that was the law used, and not the other law under section 10 against pushing.

    But having said that, mistakes happen, and you’ve just got to accept how things unfold.

    • Pfitzy

      I don’t know if they were on the big screen.

      The replays were on the television coverage though – and the TMO has that right in front of him.

      Speight scores at 1:00:57 in this clip, when the whistle is blown. The crowd boos like a mofo.

      Between that time and Owens calling time off (1:01:40), there are two replays (1:01:14 and 1:01:24) – BOTH from end-on, showing the best possible angle of DHP’s line to run across into Savea.

      Forgetting the outcome of this incident, consider again the power of the home broadcaster to stick multiple replays in the TMO’s face between the whistle blowing and the ball ending up on a tee.

      • The Big Lebowski

        Pfitzy, the Kiwi commentators basically said the same thing as our commentators – that DHP had a right to take that line in support of Speight.

        The obstruction rule is also pretty black and white about impeding a ‘tackler’.

        I’m not sure if Savea was in any position to be a tackler. But do you know if it’s explicit in the rule book about DHP’s right to take that line of support??

        • Pfitzy

          The Laws do not discuss support lines. Only what is printed about impeding a tackler.

          Let’s say, for example, DHP had run that line two metres further downfiels, where Speight had put a bigger gap on Savea. Is it still obstruction? Maybe it isn’t, because Savea can no longer be in position to be a tackler. Depends on the opinion of the officials.

        • Unanimous

          I think even as it was, as the comentators said “In all fairness Speight was gone”.

        • Pfitzy

          Unfortunately the commentators are not “the sole judge of Law” in the same way the referee is :)

        • Unanimous

          Probably fortunately in most cases.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          The trouble is even that isn’t really the key. It’s about whether Savea was impeded from having the chance to attempt a tackle, not whether he would have got there or not. He probably wouldn’t have which makes DHP’s actions even more stupid

        • Unanimous

          The rule mentions “prevented” not “impeded”. Maybe that’s splitting hairs, but then why do you not use the word in the rule? I think the rule is a bit more definite than your wording – preventing requires a bit more obstructing than impeding, but in the end it’s the ref’s judgement that decides.

          The TMO protocol requires clear and obvious offences be identified to overule a try given by the ref. If it comes down to fine judgments about player speeds, timing, spacing and meanings of prevent vs impede, then it is not clear and obvious, and the try should not have been overturned.

          The ref could have made the judgement and interpretation you have, but the TMO faces a different question.

        • Phil

          Krl,you are a very fair minded commentator,but do you ignore that DHP was held back by both Savea and Read earlier?He would have been in a much better position to either support Foley or else closer to Speight and out of Savea’s way.
          Anyway,a few game changing decisions either way but they ain’t going to change the result!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate my experience as a referee is that the commentators from NZ and Aus have very little idea on the rules of the game and often make statements that aren’t supported by the laws of the game. There is no rule anywhere that talks about supporters running a particular line so anything they say about that is irrelevant. I think they are getting confused where a player is chasing a kick and a defence doesn’t have to change his line to allow the player a better chance at getting to the ball, they also confuse the shoulder to shoulder when going for a loose ball which is also perfectly legal. The law that was ruled on was the one where a player is not allowed to interfere with a person attempting to make a tackle.

      • Unanimous

        Thanks for the link to the full game with NZ commentary.

        I agree that there is potential for nefarious practices by the host broadcaster, particularly for things way off the ball. But in this case, how could any broadcaster have not shown views including the incident prior to the anouncement of the TMO – they’d have to just have no replay at all? or maybe they could try to edit things in a strange way to avoid it, but then that sort of editing is open to just as much potential abuse in general.

        The replays of the try at 1:14:44 in which black 22 appears to trip gold 1 (possibly accidentally) at about 1:14:37 is interesting from a host broadcaster bias perspective. A fair portion of the attention of the broadcaster is on all black celebrations as you’d expect, but it means that the potential trip is shown less than the coverage in real time. In fact, I don’t think it appears in replays until after the conversion. You’d have to wonder if that incident happened in Australia, if the host broadcaster would have spent as much time on AB celebrations, or if they’d have concentrated on the trip. And the All Blacks took the conversion quite quickly at 1:15:07. It was under the posts, so you’d expect it to be reasonably quick, but 23 seconds is pretty quick, and it gave little time for anything but celebrations in the coverage, particularly for a home town broadcaster that wants to show celebrations of the home team.

        Comparing the coverage of the two events probably illustrates some of your points well.

        I remember when watching the Fiji/England game that you cite, that the broadcaster seemed to replay the event until the TMO woke up. But we don’t really know what was going on off broadcast, and even if it was as it appeared, the problem was as much a TMO asleep on the job as of a host broadcaster causing problems, because it really was a no-try. For a dropped-ball no-try it is even more difficult to show the no-try without showing the dropped ball because it happens in the process of putting the ball down. Only an angle from behind not showing the ball going down would have achieved that, and it would have been quite a strange replay. I think the live view in that case was already from behind anyway, so just show the same view again for the replay?

        What should the protocol say? Set a TMO window of one minute regardless of conversion? Restrict replays to what has already gone to air?

      • Dorothy Ball

        Thanks for the video. I was also watching with NZ commentary. My anger with the TMO was really piqued with the Coles/Foley ‘no try’. At 1:06:17 on the above feed, Owens asks to look at 2 things: knock on, and impeding/grounding. At 1:06:40, the potential knock-on is viewed and the commentators feel Kaino’s hit it with his hand to his head and forward. BUT we only ever get one look at it. Only one angle. Was the issue resolved? Nope, straight on to the next bit, which was a moot point.

        To all those on here that are saying it should’ve been a penalty try and a yellow card, do what the TMO didn’t do, and take another look at the one and only piece of evidence that it was a knock-on.

        The insistence by Veldsman on the last ‘no try’ that “Maybe you wanna see it again?” (1:45:40) is beyond belief. Owens had already decided it had, and you can see Cruden shaking his head after he passed it, so everyone but the TMO knew.

        Now, congrats to the ABs on the victory and an incredible record. See Cheik, not so hard to say, is it?

  • Jason

    Thank you for the fantastic article. I think the ‘consistency from the broadcaster’ isn’t the solution.

    Frankly I think the way they do it in cricket is far better, either the referee must ask for the TMO or perhaps a 30 second window for a captain’s challenge (I think one or two per half is fair). I think it is impossible to get a home broadcaster to be fair in what they show. Same as it’s impossible for the fans to carry on equally for both teams. The only way to fix it is to have the referee (and the touch judges) come together ask ‘were there any issues you wanted to look at’ and if no one has any issues award the try and move on, or don’t award the try.

  • The Big Lebowski

    Great article. Context is everything. I didn’t realise that DHP was potentially impeded by Reid and Savea in the lead up. Changes the narrative of that try/no-try. But a penalty would have been fair, and a consistent application of the rules.

    We are looking for consistency, not perfection.

  • McWarren

    So essentially if DHP had not been impeded by Savea and Reid he would have been in front of Savea when he apparently changed his support line to obstruct him.

    I stand by what Ive said since it occurred. If that was obstruction then I would hazard a guess that world wide upwards of 20 to 30 test tries a year are illegal for the same reason.

    I think the protocol in this instance isn’t the issue. I think the issue is what defines an obstruction. A player moving into a support line has as many rights as a defender changing his line to chase an attacker? Does he?

    • anor

      I didn’t even put the two together (DHP not being restricted in his running meaning he’d have been ahead of Savea) but you’re so right and I feel so silly for not even realising it :|

  • RugbyReg

    Good for DHP to stay in the game and focus on supporting his team mate when he got held back/bumped rather than flailing his arms about like he’d be hit by a sniper as Savea did.

    • McWarren

      The AB’s are learning a lot from the Argies aren’t they?

  • Nelson Dale

    Great insight and article.
    I had very similar thoughts during the game (however less comprehensive and coherent).

    I think to further this point about the hometown broadcast replay we just need to look at the next try:
    After Ben Smuth puts through the grubber Sio is the leading man to pick up the ball however he receives a push in the back by Cruden, which results in him tripping and savea picking up the ball to score.
    Cruden would have known this and hence converted the try before the broadcasters could even realise he was going for the kick.

  • SuckerForRed

    I’m not sure of a “review” or “challenge” system. I think, like many others here, that this would just end up with the game being needlessly held up.
    Personally I like to go back to something where once the Ref has awarded the try it stands. No matter what the broadcaster might throw up in the replays. Check with the touchies, all happy, Try. If the TMO has a problem with something that he has seen in real time then it is their responsibility to call it before the ref awards the try. Yes we will still all bitch & whinge when they get it wrong, but I am sure we will get better at accepting the mistakes when they happen because they won’t appear to have been influenced by the replays.
    In addition to this we might need to work on some consistency in the citing process. But that is a debate for another time.

  • Spank

    Regardless, what a difference that try would have made. I still see that score 15/15. I guess the lesson learned is bang shoulders BUT whatever you do DON’T put an arm across. Great pity for Speight. He knew nothing of it! At the time, Australia was making ALL the play. Being 15 all or 17/15 and our boys would really have had their tails up. Not saying they would have won – remember Ireland leading the ABs 18 NIL only to lose 19/18 when the ref. gave the ABs two shots at goal on the 81st minute! Arguably a fair call BUT against the Abs nothing is over till the Fat Lady sings. I guess 2 out of 3 ain’t bad: George Gregan with ‘THAT Tackle!’, Nick White 50/50 – (i) with ‘THAT Try’ in Sydney but (ii) ‘Oh so THAT Kick!’ in Brisbane. Pity it wasn’t “THAT TRY’ by Speight.
    Maybe the thing to do, is play the Cheats Rule (which the IRB does not oppose so far). I.E. Have the kicker run back asap and take the conversion attempt (even a drop kick) before the TMO is called. Bet though if Australia ever does it, we will be called back as kick taken in wrong spot or some other basis. See the Abs used the ‘rule’ to their advantage on Saturday night.

    • Phil

      Yes,Spank,they were very quick to take the conversion for the Speight try where Sio was taken out much more obviously than HP did.Funny how the local broadcaster did not replay that one!

  • MM

    Take a look at Haylett-Petty tackled without the ball by Savea and Franks on the Kerevi break with the try line right in front of him, or take a look at Folau’s “offside” when he took the intercept, or Franks interfering with Timani behind play, the same thing Rory Arnold was penalised for.

  • smartcooky

    pfitzy. Excellent article, but just one technicality regarding the RWC2015 TMO.
    At RWC 2015, the “Hawk-Eye” video review system was used. In that system, the broadcaster has no control over which feeds the TMO has access to. The broadcaster must supply continuous, uninterrupted live parallel video streams from ALL cameras at the ground. The TMO has several screens on which all camera angles are displayed simultaneously, and he has a technical assistant who helps him to select the camera angle replays that he wants. In the England v Fiji match,while Jaco did see the replay on the stadium screen (and asked for a TMO review), that was simply because the broadcast director saw it first. In all likelihood, the TMO would have made the “check, check” call anyway, regardless of whether it was shown in the Stadium.

  • Owen McCaffrey

    I am a Kiwi, a strong All Blacks supporter and a contributor here. I saw the DHP incident in real-time and on replays and saw no problem with the Speight try. The Wallaby No 10 had a ripper of a game. Savea was not impeded from a tackle and DHP ran a legitimate line in support. The TMO was entitled to review the play in my opinion as with all tries but he got it 100% wrong and some portion of the responsibility should lie on referee Owen’s shoulders since he rejected a TMO call later in the game. He was happy with the try in real time, he could have had a look himself and taken the advice of the TMO and still rejected it.

    I have to mention that Savea immediately played Hollywood in my opinion. That kind of arm flailing action and referee calling should not be allowed into rugby because we do not want soccer. Savea could have tried to run on but he pretended to fall over. I’m embarrased. Milking penalties is not in the spirit of Rugby. There are some question marks over the way Retellik took a massive swan dive off Wallaby elbow too ending up 5m away writhing on the ground.

    The All Blacks ended up winning but all their matches so far this year have included some dirty play that I don’t associate with the All Blacks of 5 or 10 years ago. At least not in my memory. Maybe I was not watching hard enough.

    One last point. I do not find what Steve Hansen says funny or witty at all. I find his public comments about other nations, teams or players, (coming from me as a New Zealander) to be passive aggressive and rude. He has been making gruff comments like that for years about whoever is infront of him, he never speaks straight forward or direct. If he were my manager or coach I would find that immensely frustrating and unprofessional.

    • Harbo

      Excellent post mate

  • Jonathan Estey

    “Well, I might change the Protocol to force a review of all incidents in the last two phases, but that might be whole minutes of game time.”
    With the wonders of modern technology, we can have our cake and eat it, too!
    Since the TMO can watch multiple screens at once, have TMO’s automatically review scoring plays (and anything else of interest) privately in their booth. Give them main screen with the field in real time, and a secondary screen (could just be a tablet) to watch replays.
    In this way we can have TMO review of virtually every decision without affecting the pace of the game at all. No need to wait for the ref to stop play – if the ref wants a review, the TMO will already be halfway to a decision, and if the ref doesn’t want a review, we all move on. If the ref wants to see it on the big screen instead of going with the TMO’s decision, they can ask for that. If the TMO alerts the ref to a missed call, at least we can feel confident that they’re picking these moments after reviewing all the plays of interest, not just making arbitrary interventions.

  • Henry Dissmissinya

    Your name really doesn’t back up your comments you know this right?

  • McWarren

    I really don’t see that the paper being Australian owned makes any difference. If this carry on sells papers I’m sure even the Aussie owners are happy. Maybe Cheika’s got shares in Fairfax or whoever it is?

  • Thomas

    “This guy starts accusing ABs of providing editorial direction for an Australian owned paper”

    A very elaborate conspiracy theory you have there mate.

    The editor of the NZ Herald is a local, Murray Kirkness.

    You believe that he is not, in fact, the editor, and that there is a conspiracy to manipulate the editorial line of the NZ Herald to suit the Australian National Rugby team?

    Ultimately this is owned by Fox, not an Australian company. Rupert Murdoch, no longer an Australian citizen either.

  • McWarren

    Yep I thought it was the correct call. If it wasn’t we could probably scrub 10 to 20 AB tries over the last few years from the record books.

  • McWarren

    Oh very good. Remember the performance of Retallick after he was grazed by Mumm, well that’s me right now after reading your witty response.

  • first time long time

    yeah you won again…. we get it.

  • Unanimous

    He hasn’t had a go at the refs, or said the result shouldn’t stand. It’s clear he didn’t agree, but all he really said was it didn’t determine the outcome of the game, and maybe someone in the ref review will look at it.


Ex-front rower, general loudmouth and constant source of truth.

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