Super Rugby

Waratahs won’t hesitate to use TMO loophole




Waratahs kicker Bernard Foley says that if given the opportunity again he will not hesitate in taking a drop goal to stop a TMO review going ahead.

The Waratahs had a try disallowed in extra time by the TMO which would have put them on top of the Australian Conference.

The Waratahs left it until extra time to score the bonus point try – or so it appeared when Israel Folau scored at the end of the match.

Cheetahs captain Francois Venter complained to the Referee about a forward pass from Michael Hooper to Dean Mumm in the build up which led to the TMO George Ayoub reviewing it.

Under the current World Rugby’s laws, referees and TMOs cannot review a try once the conversion attempt has been made. Foley was lining up the conversion kick when Nick Berry told him to stop taking the kick.

Had Foley taken a quick drop goal the try would have stood and the Waratahs would have been on top of the Australian Conference.

Speaking after the match Foley said that next time he will make the most of the TMO loophole by taking the kick quicker or trying a drop goal.

“We were wondering if we should take the drop goal and have the conversion attempt and they can’t review it,” Foley said.

“I said to him “can I just take this quickly?” and then the ref was talking to Venter, and then he said “wait up”.

“We talked about it. The 12, Venter, was pretty adamant I couldn’t take that kick. He was standing there on the mark.”

Foley said that he hadn’t seen the pass between Hooper and Mumm but when he heard Venter and Berry talking he wanted to take the quick kick and discussed it with backs coach Chris Malone.

World Rugby issued a statement last year during the Rugby World Cup after there had been complaints about how long the video referee process was taking, and how long after the try was a review initiated.

“The referee may consult with the TMO and then disallow a previously awarded try but only up to the point that the conversion is taken,” the statement read, in part.

There does not appear to be anythingf preventing a drop-kick and there is nothing stating a referee can call back a conversion shot, other than if it was t being taken on the wrong spot.

The Waratahs host the Bulls this weekend who are expected to be much harder opposition than the Cheetahs and Foley admits that they need to improve. “We spoke about that in the sheds, the feeling we had after that week (the Brumbies loss),” Foley told the Daily Telegraph.

“Even the conversations that were happening outside of our group about that’s the season done and dusted. You lose that game and everyone is writing you off and saying our season is over.

“The internal belief has always been there in this squad and the tour was great for us, and now we have to consolidate it.”

“We have had to fight for everything and that’s the way this team is,” Foley said.

“There could have been a lot of excuses to not get the result or to slacken off,” Foley said.

“Although it wasn’t as pretty as we’d have liked, the pleasing thing was we kept them tryless and controlled that game well. Although lacked a bit of execution in the finish.”

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