TMO call leaves Blackadder bemused

Date published: April 8 2014

Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder was left confused by a bizarre TMO incident during his side's win over the Lions on Sunday.

Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder was left confused by a bizarre TMO incident during his side's win over the Lions on Sunday.

Referee Maris van der Westhuizen awarded Ryan Crotty a try after the skipper had latched onto a poor pass from Lions' pivot Marnitz Boshoff and bundled his way over.

But as Colin Slade prepared to kick the conversion, Van der Westhuizen appeared to change his tune, bringing in TMO Johan Greef to check the grounding.

Replays subsequently showed the centre had been held up by Lions' back-row pair Warren Whiteley and Jaco Kriel, leaving the Ellis Park faithful delighted and the Crusaders puzzled.

It was Van der Westhuizen's first Super Rugby fixture, and he wrongly disallowed Johnny McNicholl's effort later in the game, adjudging the flyer to have knocked-on when attempting to ground the ball.

Recent controversies have arisen on South African soil, with the Blues furious at a decision made last month by Greef and then referee Stuart Berry, awarding the Lions' Coenie van Wyk a try despite a blatant knock-on from Deon van Rensburg.

“I'm not too sure of the rules – I thought once you awarded a try you couldn't take it back,” Blackadder told

“That was a first for me.”

The disallowed “tries” did not affect the outcome, however, as the Crusaders romped to a 28-7 victory in Johannesburg.

“I was really rapt with our game,” added Blackadder.

“While we kicked a lot, we scored three tries . . . and we could have scored more.

“It came off the back of a very disciplined game plan. The ability to build pressure is the key.”

There was more good news for the Canterbury outfit as captain Kieran Read should be fit to face the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein this weekend, pending return-to-play tests post-concussion.

“He's [Read] got a couple of tests the doctor has to take him through but he is feeling really good and back to normal,” added Blackadder.

“I'm pretty certain he will be right for next week.”

Blackadder also reckoned Slade, who was withdrawn with a head injury of his own during the Lions win, will be cleared to play.

But the ex-All Black was most concerned by his side's performances in South Africa, a nation they traditionally struggle to tour well. He feels they can now approach the Cheetahs clash with confidence having dispatched the Ellis Park outfit so comprehensively.

“The guys brought it up in the changing room themselves,” admitted Blackadder.

“We have got to go to Bloemfontein, a place we haven't played that well at in the past. We will go there with a lot of confidence and we have got to be prepared to attack.

“We won't underestimate the significance of tonight. I feel that, psychologically, we have turned the corner and we need to go forward.”