International Rugby, Opinions

World Rugby admission TMO got it wrong angers England’s Eddie

World Rugby issued a statement admitting the TMO erred in not awarding Wales a try in the 12-6 defeat at Twickenham. England coach Eddie Jones questioned the point of the admission because, in retrospect, it can’t change anything.

The biggest criticism of World Rugby has always been consequence to officiating mistakes. So many big calls have been made in the last few seasons that have been wrong. It’s cost teams titles. But the officials making those mistakes continue to officiate.

The controversial moment was when Welsh fullback Gareth Anscombe beat England winger Anthony Watson to the ball and grounded it first.

South Africa’s Jonathan Kaplan, rated the game’s best referee at the peak of his powers, wrote in the Telegraph Newspaper that try should have been awarded and Welsh coach Warren Gatland said the TMO had made at terrible mistake.

Now comes the admission that New Zealand TMO Glenn Newman had got it wrong.

“World Rugby has clarified to the Wales team management as part of the usual review process with teams that the TMO made an error in the application of law during the England versus Wales match at Twickenham.

“In accordance with law 21.1 b, Wales should have been awarded a try as the Wales player grounded the ball,” read a World Rugby statement.

Gatland took up the issue with World Rugby’s high performance match officials manager Alain Rolland, himself a former Test referee, and Wales assistant coach Rob Howley said Tuesday: “That phone call took place — I think it was yesterday (Monday) — and Alain Rolland confirmed on behalf of World Rugby the TMO made a mistake. It’s happened.

“It is disappointing that happens in professional sport, but we focus on the next two weeks and getting ourselves ready for Ireland,” the former Wales scrumhalf added.


Jones, whose England profited from the mistake, said wrong decisions had a way of balancing out and he failed to understand what good could come from any post match admission.

“I just think that once the game’s done and dusted that’s the game,” he said. “You can’t have retrospective refereeing of decisions being done. The game’s done and dusted, so we’ve got to trust the referees and respect their integrity.”

Jones, who has coached the Wallabies and Japan, quoted a Japanese saying to emphasise his sentiments.

“In Japan they have a great saying: ‘At full-time there’s no side’. That’s one of the traditions of rugby, you get on with it, you respect the decision.

“If you haven’t got the rub of the green then you know you probably get it in the next couple of games. The TMOs do an excellent job. They make a decision.”

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