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SARU refer Lions TMO try ruling to the IRB

SARU General Manager of Referees Andre Watson

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Article Published: Friday 21 March 2014|


The issue of whether the Lions scored a try against the Blues in their Round five match has taken a new turn as SARU General Manager of Referees Andre Watson has revealed that they have asked the IRB to make a ruling on it.

Lions centre Deon van Rensburg lost the ball as he got to the tryline when he was tackled by Blues wing Charles Piutau and then Lions fullback Coenie van Wyk dropped onto the ball to score a try after it had rolled forward in the in-goal area.

South African referee and the TMO Johan Greeff looked at footage of the incident and Berry eventually awarded the try to the Lions.

The Blues lost the match 39-36 and then went to SANZAR's referee manager Lyndon Bray to ask about the incident and he said that the try should not have been awarded and a knock on should have been ruled.

"We have decided from a SANZAR perspective that it should be ruled as a knock-on," Bray said earlier this week.

"The onus of responsibility in this case is on the ball carrier to maintain possession through to the completion of the tackle because the Blues player is generally attempting to tackle the Lions player."

"I think from a rugby perspective that aligns that decision to how the referee may well have awarded that throughout the field of play."

However SARU and Watson see the incident in a different way and the former Referee says that it was not clear that Van Rensburg had lost the ball or if it was dislodged

"I believe it was not a contentious issue from a refereeing point of view but rather from a law perspective, " Watson told Sport24.

"The knock-on law is very clear: a player needs to lose possession, with the ball then travelling in a forward direction. "

"However, the debate with regard to this specific incident revolves around whether the ball-carrier lost the ball or whether the ball was dislodged from his grasp as a result of the action of the tackler.

"While SANZAR have issued a statement saying the try should not have stood, we at SARU have referred the matter to the IRB and are awaiting a ruling. "

"The debate is currently hanging in the air as two contrasting opinions currently exist," said Watson.

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