Planet Rugby

Ref boss admits Ellis Park error

19th March 2014 06:57

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Referee Stuart Berry blows the final whistle

Match-changing call: Stuart Berry

SANZAR referees boss Lyndon Bray has admitted that match officials made two incorrect video referee decisions in recent Super Rugby clashes.

Bray says a try awarded to the Lions against the Blues by the TMO at Ellis Park last weekend should have been ruled a knock-on.

When Blues defender Charles Piutau jolted the ball from Lions full-back Coenie van Wyk's grasp, he did not deliberately try to rip possession. Bray underlined that the onus is on the ball carrier to maintain possession, so it should have been ruled as a knock on, and thus no try, contrary to the decision from referee Stuart Berry and his TMO Johan Greeff

"We have decided from a SANZAR perspective that it should be ruled as a knock-on," Bray told ONE Sport.

"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."

Blues coach Sir John Kirwan queried Bray for an explanation on the call, which cost the Blues a valuable win on the road.

The error was the second case of an incorrect call going against the Blues in the space of a fortnight. Bray confirmed that a late try awarded to the Bulls late in their win over the Blues at Loftus Versfeld in Round Four, should have been disallowed.

"That's a very good example of where a player quite clearly moves his body in order to be able to place the ball, and so ultimately, yes, that should have been no try," he said.

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