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Gold calls for consistency

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Bulls, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 2 Mar 2015 at 10:46
Tagged with : , , , , , , , ,

“That first Bulls try – and the TMO decision for the try that Odwa set up, were critical. They were game changers, in a much bigger sense than I think we can understand”.

A clearly frustrated, disappointed and emotional Gary Gold faced a media scrum at Loftus on Saturday night, one intent on getting him to say something about the performances of referee Jaco van Heerden and TMO Johann Greeff, both of which left a lot to be desired from a Sharks point of view.

“We’ve got a directive [at the Sharks] that, if we’re unbelievably disappointed in a referee and believe that his performance was sub-standard, we’re not entitled to make a comment about it in public, so I won’t make a comment about [the performance],” quipped Gold, a rather clever way of saying what he had to say without really saying it.

“I will say that we need some clarity and consistency of ‘not clear and obvious’ for the forward pass, yet when Odwa goes up for a contestable kick, how is that clear and obvious? We just need some consistency. I’m not here to talk about anybody’s decisions, we just want consistency – that’s all I’m asking,” he added.

Gold was referring to two unrelated incidents in the match, both involving the TMO, and both of which went in the home side’s favour despite the available evidence hardly supporting the respective verdicts. In the first case, a try to Francois Hougaard was allowed despite TV footage appearing to show a rather clear forward pass. Greeff, who is a senior office bearer in the Blue Bulls Refereeing Union, ruled there was a lack of “clear and obvious” intent to pass the ball forward on the part of Jesse Kriel. Benefit of the doubt, in other words, favoured the attacking team even though the evidence was inconclusive at best, but damning under most neutral lenses.

Later in the game, Odwa Ndungane was adjudged to have knocked-on a ball that immediately after went to SP Marais to score the try that looked set to turn the match. Again, there was no clear and obvious evidence from the footage that said knock had indeed taken place, yet in this case, Greeff seemed to throw away his previous precedent and rather decided that the benefit of the doubt should go to the defending team.

You can understand why Gold was miffed – and that’s to say nothing about the numerous on-field blunders that blighted van Heerden’s own 80 minutes.


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