‘It’s time to sack the TMO’ – Sir Steve Hansen calls for changes in the game

Dylan Coetzee
Former All Blacks coach Sir Steve Hansen looks on.

Former All Blacks coach Sir Steve Hansen looks on.

Legendary former All Blacks head coach Sir Steve Hansen has called for change in the game after the increased influence of the Television Match Official (TMO) during the Rugby World Cup final in France.

The final saw old foes the All Blacks and Springboks collide for a spot in rugby history as the first team to reach four titles. It was as tight as ever in Paris with the South Africans running out eventual 12-11 winners on the night.

It was a clash loaded with drama, including consistent intervention from the TMO resulting in a red card for a high tackle from New Zealand captain Sam Cane who became the first player to be sent off in a World Cup final.

TMO too involved

Hansen believes the importance of the TMO in today’s game takes control of the game away from the on-field referee.

“Gone are the days when the referee has control of the game in rugby,” Hansen told The Breakdown.

“The problem is the way that we’re controlling the game, it’s being refereed in replay.”

The great coach believes a solution could be to simplify the role of the TMO to supplement and inform referee decisions rather than intervene.

“It’s time to sack the TMO, get rid of it out of our game, other than when the referee asks ‘is there any reason why I can’t award this try or is there any reason why I should award this try’,” Hansen said.

Concern for the game

Hansen voiced his concern about what stop-start matches mean for the game as a whole and admitted he was disappointed with the quality of the final.

“Fans are getting really sick of it and leaving in droves. As a spectacle, I was extremely disappointed,” Hansen added.

The 64-year-old also weighed in on the red card handed to Cane and called for common sense to be applied to decisions.

“To give that a red card, in my humble opinion, is just ridiculous,” Hansen remarked.

“Until we sit down at the very top and work out how we can get some common sense into our officiating of the game, we’re going to turn people off watching it by the droves.”

READ MORE: All Blacks lodge complaint over officiating in Rugby World Cup final defeat