No plans to change TMO system, say sport’s rulers

Rugby’s governing body has no plans to review the use of the television match official (TMO), despite a furore after it was not invoked during the controversial finale of Australia’s World Cup quarter-final win over Scotland.

Australia edged the Scots 35-34 at Twickenham with a last-minute three-pointer and, while TV replays showed the decisive penalty may have been awarded in error, the referee had not been permitted to consult the TMO due to the nature of the infringement.

“In the build-up to the tournament we have been at pains to explain the exact remit and protocols around the TMO,” a World Rugby (WR) spokesman told Reuters yesterday.

“The protocols are available on the website,” he said, adding that there are no plans to extend them.

South African referee Craig Joubert awarded the decisive penalty for deliberate offside in Sunday’s clash.

Replays showed the decision should probably have been for accidental offside – resulting in a scrum which may have allowed Scotland to hang on to their lead and advance to the semi-finals.

Howls of protest from players and pundits followed, all complaining that Joubert had not consulted the TMO over the decision.

Rugby luminaries including Ian McGeechan, Clive Woodward, Michael Lynagh, Lawrence Dallaglio and Gavin Hastings, all working as media pundits, were united in saying the TMO should have been involved.

World Rugby’s (WR) rules clearly state that the TMO can only be used to determine on acts of foul play, ruling on an infringement in the build-up to a try and to check the grounding of the ball and kicks at goal – but not whether the penalty for offside was correct.

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