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Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Benjamin Boyet calls for the TMO, and gets it

Toulon are finding form finally as they conquered Bourgoin 23-12 at the Stade Pierre-Rajon on Friday. It was their first away from home win this season, and another positive step towards Top 14 survival.

The victory for Toulon was all the more sweet as they scored three tries more (edit) than Bourgoin, earning them a bonus point.

One of the most interesting and possibly discussed incidents of the season occurred when French flyhalf Benjamin Boyet, of Bourgoin, kicked a penalty at goal that flew high and handsome, but was adjudged by the assistant referees to have missed.

Boyet felt otherwise though, and feverishly asked the referee to call for the TMO to check the kick. The ref did, and it was then decided that the kick was above the upright, but would in fact have gone over.

The assistant referees were overruled, and the three points were given, with Boyet being possibly the first ever player to request the TMO, have the ref listen, and get a decision in his favour.

It begs the question – surely the players have a slightly better feel for what’s happening on the park, which should therefore entitle them to have the right to officially ask for the TMO when they feel it’s necessary?

It was trialled in South Africa last year, with a White Card being afforded to each captain, which he could then use a certain number of times in a half. If the technology is there, and we all want the correct decisions at the end of the day, maybe the scope of the TMO should be extended to allowing players themselves to request video replays, once or twice in a half only?

I’m sure there will be mixed opinions, so let’s hear yours please.

Time: 02:22



  • I think it's a good call, and it will certainly keep the refs on their toes, as they have gotten away with murder in the past with their cockeyed decisions.

    In a crunch test scenario, a wrong decision such as this one could be the difference between winning or losing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 03, 2009 5:44 pm  

  • I remember an England A game a few years back when Dave Walder had a clearly successful kick refused and they went on to lose. I would hate to see the game bogged down with constant referrals though, although say 2 a game would be ok.

    By Anonymous Ruck_Off, at March 03, 2009 5:59 pm  

  • Looks like a young Damien Traille!!!!

    By Anonymous No6., at March 03, 2009 6:00 pm  

  • Its a hard one it'll be good in some ways but bad in another, we've all watched matches where the team look to have scored but looking at the replays the ball was dropped etc but the TMO wasn't checked by the ref so try was given, this would alow the team to challenge the descision.

    BUT This would then take away the refs decision is final so that could be bad for the game, will be interesting if it is brought in so teams have a limited number of requests.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 03, 2009 6:03 pm  

  • While I'd support the idea of players (specifically the Captain) having a limited number of challenges, I'd be hesitant to allow the TV judge to overrule in the scenario we see here of kicking for goal.

    The camera can play tricks and I've seen many situations where a kick that was adjudged to have gone over uncontroversially appeared to be short or wide on the camera view. I think the best people to judge a close kick are those standing directly underneath the posts.

    By Anonymous AA, at March 03, 2009 6:12 pm  

  • A request for video review isn't a right to video review. The ref could have said no but presumably decided it was close enough that he himself would like to take a look at it. If he thought the request was unwarranted he could have equally refused.

    Whether giving players the ability to review plays as a right (which may still be a good decision) is a different question from what has happened here.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 03, 2009 6:15 pm  

  • The priority should be getting the correct decision within the limitations of the technology.

    In yes/no decisions it certainly has merit - e.g. in touch/not in touch and in this case too.

    However, there are limits too - in this case the TMO must be able to see a side-on view at the same time as a front on view to be totally sure.

    I don't think there is a need for a referral system just yet as (generally) when there's doubt the ref will double check.

    By Anonymous jackohos, at March 03, 2009 6:16 pm  

  • I agree with AA, technology in this case does not shed any light on the decision and the fourth official would have less chance of judging it correctly than the linesmen.

    By Anonymous will66, at March 03, 2009 6:26 pm  

  • I think Tmo is being used way too much, mostly by refs, there are some tries that can be easily seen and still refs ask for the video ref, I cant imagine if players now will start asking for video ref

    Maybe we should stick to playing rugby, the thing we love most, and leave technology aside

    By Anonymous Ricol, at March 03, 2009 6:27 pm  

  • On the subject of TMOs, did anyone see the Chiefs - Sharks game this weekend?

    And the text should be changed, it's not scoring 3 tries that gives you a bonus point, it's scoring 3 tries more than your opponent.

    By Anonymous Foitor, at March 03, 2009 6:55 pm  

  • i agree with no.6!
    He does like like traille! haha

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 03, 2009 7:32 pm  

  • if it can be used for trys then why not kicks? both decide whether a team has got points, as ruck off mentioned earlier a decision like that can be the difference between winning and losing. in the 'quins-stade match earlier in the year when nick evans took the drop kick at the death the ref went to the TMO to make sure it was over (clearly was but i think he went to it cos there was so much riding on it)
    the only difference between this one and the quins one is that the player asked the ref first. there must have been some doubt in the refs mind or else he wouldnt have got to the tmo

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 03, 2009 8:02 pm  

  • A ref once asked for video ref when Shane Williams made a drop goal, I thought it was only for tries

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 03, 2009 8:14 pm  

  • all i know is when some of my teammates hear that a ref overturned a call, watch out.. lol
    there are some players that love to whine during the game.. now i can't tell them to shut up and play.. now they think they'll have a chance at changing a refs mind.. thank god we don't have TMO.. these whiners will be crying about that too... lol

    By Anonymous islandstylin, at March 03, 2009 8:24 pm  

  • Munster called for the TMO against Sale in the heineken cup group stages but the ref wudnt go even though it actually went over.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 03, 2009 8:43 pm  

  • Not sure how good this would be for the game, though this isn't the first time its happened. In a Leicester game a few years back, Andy Goode howled at a ref after he signaled a try had been scored by the opposition. The ref then called time off, went to the TMO, which reversed the decision based on no clear grounding of the ball. That moment was far more outrageous than this one, and highlights the problems that could occur if "challenges" were allowed as in the NFL. In an occation where a try was surly scored, but there is no video evidence to back it, can it really be disallowed when already given?

    By Blogger Kevin, at March 03, 2009 9:24 pm  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger handson, at March 03, 2009 9:38 pm  

  • in American football, that's called a 'challenge.' They work fairly well and tend to be pivotal during games, but each team is limited to 2.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 03, 2009 10:51 pm  

  • I think this was a bad call. When they went to the TMO the ball was clearly in line with the top of the posts, (not on the inside or the outside) meaning there wasn't indisputable evidence to say yes/no. Therefore the TMO guy had no reason to overrule the touch judges decision and should have gone with what they originally said..

    By Anonymous Ryan, at March 03, 2009 10:54 pm  

  • Hmmm, as an American who's played both American football as well as Rugby football, maybe I can give some insight into how challenges such as this impact the game.

    In the NFL, they've worked fairly well, but the rules for when they can and can't be used are fairly well spelled out. They work well partly because there are incentives that limit their use (i.e. only 3 per half, rejected challenge costs you a timeout, etc.), but also because the technology is there to make the best use of it. In this particular scenario, there would be camera(s) mounted on the goal posts to give you roughly the same view as the linesmen have standing under the posts. Also, the official on the field makes the call, not the ones up in the booth, so you maintain the ref's authority on the field. Finally, the rules spell out that the video must give undisputable evidence that the ref got it wrong; otherwise, the initial call stands.

    In this case, I don't see how the video ref could overrule the assistant refs based solely upon the camera angle we saw in the clip. Lacking any other video, the NFL challenge would have been rejected in favor of the call on the field. IMHO, the video ref got it wrong here. To make matters worse, I also think that the ref got it wrong to even call for the TMO because that smacks of gamesmanship to me. But, I tend to be an old fogey that way.

    By Blogger Bobby Nations, at March 03, 2009 11:35 pm  

  • have it like gridiron, where it costs them a sub if their wrong! then they'll think about it and if they really believe it then they will choose to challenge the feild call

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 04, 2009 2:17 am  

  • This is ridiculous. There's absolutely no way to tell from those video angles when the ball went over the crossbar, so therefore no way to tellwhether or not it was inside the posts.

    In addition, in order for the goal to be awarded, no part of the ball can go over any part of the post (similar to the way the touch lines work). A ball that's kicked directly over a post should not result in a goal.

    And over-ruling the TJ is even sillier. He was right underneath the post in question.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 04, 2009 2:19 am  

  • I believe the ref had severe doubts himself otherwise he would have refused Boyet's request, so I have no problem with using the TMO here. It seems to be no different from using it for a drop goal where it has been very handy.
    My own feeling is that by the time the ball looks to be on top of the post, it was in fact past the post and had already gone through and therefore would probably have been a goal.
    But it is almost impossible to judge from the camera angle and unless the TMO is absolutely sure that a mistake has been made then he should go with the touch judge's call ... and I don't think you can be so sure in this particular case.

    By Anonymous robert, at March 04, 2009 2:42 am  

  • This is the most ridiculous thing I have heard of....
    Rugby was built on playing to the refs whistle. If you get a tough decision suck it up and get on with it.
    The refferal system in the cricket isn't working, you see league players rolling around like footballers so the TMO can have a look at the replay, it is just ridiculous!!!!
    What about the effect on Juniors, next thing you will see is the little fellas running around with white cards yelling at the ref, not good.
    Add to all this more stoppages and breaks in the game... how exciting...
    Usually I don't comment I just check the vids and go back to work but this is such a ludicris (ok I should have just put stupid)idea I had to comment.

    By Anonymous Ned2or3, at March 04, 2009 3:09 am  

  • TJs are taught to stand in-line with the goalpost and the kicker.
    I was taught that if the ball goes over the top of an upright, it's considered "no good", because the idea is that the extended goalpost would bounce the ball back into the field of play.

    From the camera angle, the ball looked to go over the top of the post, not completely inside it.

    If this were a drop kick during general play -- or a quick-conversion late in a game, I would say, yes, allow the TMO.

    However, assuming the TJs are perfectly in line with the kicking tee and goalpost, there is little excuse to overrule them.

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at March 04, 2009 5:47 am  

  • Accepting the referee's decisions is part of the game, he does is best just like the players on field.
    Giving players a chance to talk back to the referee appears like a step toward soccer to me.

    By Anonymous Matteo from Italy, at March 04, 2009 9:06 am  

  • Although proven to be a good call in this example, I don't think we want to go down the road of players (or mgmt) having rights to ask for TMO.

    Two reasons: 1, disruption to to flow of game and potential to be abused (i.e. slow down the game / more dead time while a sin binned player is out): 2. increases the influence of TMO, which in my opinion, is already a big enough part of games and seems to answer the wrong question (i.e. refs ask 'can i award a try' instead of 'any reason why I cannot award a try').

    No. Lets leave this French example as a freak occasion and not something to be ELV'd ..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 04, 2009 9:27 am  

  • If the TMO only sees what we saw on the video, then there is no reason to overturn the call. There is no way to tell where the ball was in relation to the upright as it crossed the bar.

    The refs had a MUCH better view of the kick.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 04, 2009 10:36 am  

  • There was an incident in the Varisty match this year, early on the Oxford kicker clearly slotted a conversion and it wasn't given by the ref or touchies, and despite him asking a number of times to refer Wayne Barnes refused. In the end Oxford won by a couple of points, but in such an important and one off game, surely this type of challenge would be warranted. Imagine the fallout if Oxford had lost.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 04, 2009 10:39 am  

  • Nothing like a bit of friendly (positive) debate.. good to see it..

    From the other side of the spectrum - this was 3 points that, at the end of the day, could have been the difference between a win and a loss, bonus points difference, and league relegation. The kick went over (according to the vid/tmo), and the points were rightly awarded. In THIS case, good to see it.

    In an age where referees are HEAVILY scrutinised week in and week out, would the traditionalists amongst us not even consider for a minute that this could possibly be the right way to go, within reason?

    I'm not 100% sure if I'd like this or not.. still happy with the way things are.. but on this occasion, fair play to the ref and TMO for not being stubborn about it.

    By Anonymous Shaft, at March 04, 2009 10:42 am  

  • Im not so sure, Id like to see that again!!

    By Blogger Kenny, at March 04, 2009 12:39 pm  

  • I disagree with quiet a few posts and think that if you allow the player to request the video referee and the ref does it, where do you stop? Every time there is a melee and the ball goes into touch, TMO. If there was a knock on, TMO. And it would take a game that already lacks the pazz-zazz of Rugby League even further away from a spectacle. BUT, if they allow it should be the Captain (only) and only 1 chance to review a decision.

    By Anonymous INSIDEOUTSIDE, at March 04, 2009 3:46 pm  

  • i really don't know what to make of this, everybody has a valid point! think i may have splinters for a while on this one!

    my initial thought was don't try and fix what aint broke!! but i dont know!

    By Anonymous Abs7, at March 04, 2009 4:44 pm  

  • I would like to correct a like mistake from RD.

    To have a bonus point in Top 14, you have to score 3 tries more than the opposite side.

    If you score 4 tries and the opponents score 2, you won't have the bonus point.

    By Anonymous Kk, at March 04, 2009 5:08 pm  

  • Its def something they should do more often in international rugby.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 04, 2009 6:48 pm  

  • i like rugby.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 04, 2009 8:52 pm  

  • i like rugby.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 04, 2009 8:52 pm  

  • ya, a few a half like challenges in american football

    By Blogger keithxv, at March 05, 2009 5:01 am  

  • I guy could we have a video of Gloucester/Bath please

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 05, 2009 9:42 am  

  • that had to be the worst commentating i have ever heard, in any sport. they should be shot. really, after a display like that, they don't deserve to be alive.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 05, 2009 1:27 pm  

  • French referees are wired a little differently to the others. Once he'd been mind-tricked into running the TMO for the kick, you could hear him telling the oppostion it was okay 'c'est bon, c'est normale ... etc.

    He probably did it so he could cause some controversy or add a chapter in his book (all French want to write books).

    One French ref in Brive circuit used to wear a stuffed parrot (his parrot). WEIRD!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 06, 2009 6:01 pm  

  • I was about to say that players might abuse it and use it continuously, but I think something similar to hawkeye in tennis where the captain get's 2 correct TMO rulings a half, or something?

    I'm sure there wouldn't be too many cases where it could be used on request by players.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 09, 2009 10:16 am  

  • i think its a good idea but as in NFL there should be consequences to calling them too much, i would say they only be called in examples where points have been scored, and if an incorrect tmo is made then the team calling it should lose a sub, or some other punishment, this would stop teams using it to slow down the game.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 12, 2009 11:00 pm  

  • In relation to the 'stuffed Parrot' comment, are referees allowed to wear such attachments to their clothing? IRB Laws of the Game clearly states the clothing restrictions for players, but does this also apply to the ref?

    In Aberdeen, we had one prop who basically became a Mummy before each game (the Egyptian kind) wrapping himself in endless crepe bandage. Impossible for his opposite prop NOT to get a bind on, with all that bandage (quite legal though!)..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 16, 2009 8:32 pm  

  • Help. What is the TMO ?



    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 16, 2009 8:32 pm  

  • One thing tried in NFL was to get all the players to stand still for, like, 30 seconds or something ... when the video replay showed they were, like totally wrong or whatever. This made the game much more better.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 16, 2009 8:34 pm  

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