The controversial TMO decision which cost the Crusaders victory in Cape Town last Sunday was indeed wrong.

The Crusaders were forced to settle for a draw against the Stormers after TMO Marius Jonker called back play when it appeared Sevu Reece had scored a spectacular match-winning try.

Jonker alerted referee Nic Berry to what he described as a "clear and obvious" forward pass by Braydon Ennor, although replays were inconclusive on whether it came out of Ennor's hands backwards and was carried forward by simple momentum.

Referee Marius Jonker. Photo / Getty
Referee Marius Jonker. Photo / Getty

After a few replays were shown, Jonker called a forward pass due to "clear and obvious evidence".

Advertisement

But Sanzaar Rugby have since confirmed to the Crusaders that Jonker's call was wrongly made and the match-winning try should have stood.

"It's a momentum game. Look, they [Sanzaar] just cleared up that the ruling was wrong," Crusaders coach Scott Robertson said of the call late in the 19-19 draw with the Stormers.

"We got clarity of the understanding of the rule, if it's backwards out of the hand, the pass is going backwards. Obviously, momentum is a big part of why it looked forward but it isn't forward.

Jean-Luc du Plessis of the Stormers. Photo / Getty
Jean-Luc du Plessis of the Stormers. Photo / Getty

"It would be a pretty tough game of rugby [if you had] to stand still and pass backwards."

Jonker, who will be a TMO at the Rugby World Cup later this year, will not be working as a match official this weekend.

The Crusaders have had to settle for two competition points from the match, leaving them nine points clear of the Hurricanes at the top of the New Zealand conference.

The news tops off what has been a difficult week for the Crusaders after three players, including All Black George Bridge, were accused of making homosexual slurs towards a customer at a Cape Town McDonalds.

George Bridge looks on during the Crusaders Super Rugby training session. Photo / Getty
George Bridge looks on during the Crusaders Super Rugby training session. Photo / Getty

Richie Mo'unga also found himself in hot water after a woman spoke out saying he spat beer at her in a Cape Town bar and inappropriately touched her.

The Crusaders have since handed over the investigation to an independent lawyer and will also put their team protocols, particularly those around alcohol consumption, under the spotlight.