Barnes could have asked TMO

The IRB has confirmed that the referee may call for TMO assistance if he is unsure as to whether a penalty, drop goal or conversion has been successful.

In Sunday’s Test between South Africa and Wales, James Hook’s first-half penalty attempt appeared to be over, but the on-field officials decided that the kick had missed.

It was a dubious call given Hook kicked the ball high above the uprights, and so it may have been wiser to call for a television replay to ensure the correct decision was made. Wales coach Warren Gatland said as much after a game the Dragons lost by just one point.

The IRB has since released a statement on its position. While they said the officials had followed protocol, they also confirmed that if an official is not 100% sure, he has the option to call for a television replay.

‘Under protocol, the Referee may consult the Assistant Referees or the Television Match Official if he is unsure as to whether a penalty kick, drop goal or conversion has been successful,’ the statement read.

‘During the match in question, the match official team felt at the time that there was no need to consult the TMO following a Wales penalty kick as they were confident that the kick was not successful. Correct protocol was therefore followed.’