Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Wynne Gray: We shouldn't be listening to TMO conversations


Wayne Barnes' forward pass formula is encrypted. He has a special criteria for working out whether a pass is legal.

Apart from a head-scratching ruling when Barnes over-ruled TMO George Ayoub and rubbed out a try to TJ Perenara, the English referee was solid. His luck was the forward pass decision did not decide the game.

In South Africa there was a more contentious ruling when French referee Mathieu Raynal ordered off Irish flanker CJ Stander for a high and late tackle when he leaped to charge down a kick from Patrick Lambie and in his follow through, clobbered the five eighths who was knocked out.


Both incidents highlight the difficulties for match officials and how systems need even more fine-tuning.

We all love being able to earwig conversations when officials ruminate about foul play or tries when the best system would be to let them go about the decisions in private.

Then they can have a proper conversation without some of the stilted language they are asked to use, they can ask supplementary questions or inquire about other factors or footage to help them come a conclusion.

But right now we are all listening to stilted question and answers between the referee and the TMO up in the box.

We heard Ayoub say Aaron Cruden's pass was legitimate before Barnes offered his contrary view and rubbed out his colleague's judgement.

It did not make sense nor did listening to their conversation.

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Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

The latest commentary and analysis from senior rugby writer Wynne Gray. Wynne has been covering the All Blacks for more than 27 years and has attended more than 230 All Blacks tests live for the Herald.

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