TV ref says sorry

SA’s director of referees Andre Watson says action will be taken against under-fire TV referee Linston Manuels, but in true South African rugby transparency won’t say what.

Manuels was slammed after failing to award a try to winger Akona Ndungane that would have given the Bulls a 27-12 lead against the Hurricanes. The TV referee ruled that the ball had not been controlled, when Ndungane had in fact applied pressure with his stomach.

“It was a mistake and we are not denying it,” Watson told the Pretoria News. “But I have yet to see a player lose his job for missing the ball with an open tryline. It is human error and we try and limit occurances in the officiating of a game. However, something like this means we will take some action.”

Watson has obviously not watched much rugby in his time, or he would know of players who have been dropped for several matches following a poor performance.

According to Watson, Manuels apologised after the game.

“He does know the laws and he apologised afterwards,” he said. “In the heat of the moment there are several things that can influence the decision and pressure is one of them. I just hope the decision doesn’t make [the Bulls] despondent for their tour.”