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Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Stormers penalty try 'an honest mistake'



Sanzar’s head of referees Lyndon Bray has come out to say the awarding of a penalty try to the Melbourne Rebels during their game against the Stormers was “an honest mistake”.

Bray, who has been open and forthright about decisions this year, disagreed with the SA Rugby Referees assessment of the penalty try during last weekend’s 30-21 win for the Rebels, saying the penalty try awarded to the Rebels should not have been awarded as a knock on had occurred.

Bray blamed a lack of camera angles for the decision, which he said would have made the television match official’s decision a lot easier.

While the news will be scant consolation for Stormers fans, credit should be given to the refs for at least admitting the error, and for doing something to rectify it so that it does not occur in future.

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"I have spoken with both the TMO and the Broadcaster [Fox Sports]. It is obvious that the best angle, that provided clear evidence that a Rebels player knocked the ball on when tackling Stormers #2, was not displayed during the TMO referral replays. I think there are two good learning points for us, moving forward within the TMO Protocol Trial: firstly, we are reviewing with the TMO how articulately he presented the Director with what he was looking for, i.e. "potential knock on by Rebels player". Secondly, I am awaiting a report from Fox Sports, as to why unfortunately that camera angle was not available at the time of the referral."

Bray said there was no question that the wrong decision was made.

"There is no question that this was an unfortunate error - and it obviously meant that the TMO could not make a conclusive decision on the knock on. Had he been able to access the reverse angle at the time of the decision, then the penalty try scenario would have been cancelled out."

"Having spoken with all parties concerned, I am 100% satisfied that this was a communication and process issue - an honest mistake. Our learning out of this will be to re-clarify the robust process between the TMO and Broadcast Director, to ensure the specifics of any incident in question are clearly understood by the Broadcast Director, and that angles are fully available at the time of the TMO referral. It helps nobody for the Broadcaster to then replay an angle that was not available at the time of the referral."

Earlier the SA Referees website had said the try was legitimate as the knock on did not fall within the parametres of the TMO.

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