Super Rugby
TMO changes set to be trialled
ESPNscrum Staff
March 7, 2012
South African referee Craig Joubert, France v New Zealand, 2011 Rugby World Cup Final, Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand, October 23, 2011
Craig Joubert was at fault in the Bulls' win over the Cheetahs © Getty Images
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Discussions are underway for Television Match Officials (TMOs) to be granted additional powers, with South African referees' boss Andre Watson hopeful that a trial could be in place for this year's Currie Cup.

The issue came to the fore again during last weekend's Super Rugby clash between the Cheetahs and Bulls, where a try was awarded despite glaring video evidence of a double movement.

Bulls prop Dean Greyling profited, as referee Craig Joubert had asked only if there was any reason not to award the try. As the official had missed Greyling's infringement, Johann Meuwesen, the TMO, was not permitted to inform him as his remit falls only on the grounding of the ball in that situation.

"According to protocol from the IRB a referee is not allowed to respond to any additional information from the TMO which doesn't relate to his original question," Watson told Die Burger. "Johann wanted to give Craig extra information, because it clearly wasn't a try, but both of them would have ended up in hot water.

"The problem started with Craig not spotting Greyling's transgression. In this case the protocol led to the wrong decision being made and Craig has taken full responsibility.

"[The proposed changes] will allow the TMO to point out foul play and to give additional information to prevent a situation like what happened at the weekend. If there is, for example, a forward pass which leads to a try 30 metres on, he'll be able to point it out. I really hope the Currie Cup is one of the competitions in which the protocol will be tested. A decision will be made next month."

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