Tuesday 20 February 2018

Tony Ward: Time to own up and apologise for TMO error

Referee Leighton Hodges
Referee Leighton Hodges

Rest assured Munster will pull out a big one on Saturday. Take that as read. But against Treviso on Saturday last in Limerick they were poor. In the end they got out of jail and deserved the win but the circumstances were less than satisfactory.

To err is human but for referee Leighton Hodges and even more so TMO Dermot Moloney to come up with the poor calls they did – given the technology at their disposal – is just not good enough.

How one or other could deem JJ Hanrahan's pass to Keith Earls for the opening try as legitimate is beyond comprehension.

The second (awarded to James Downey) was equally iffy although a little more difficult to call. Were the same decisions made in reverse in Italy by an Italian TMO can you imagine the 'homer' reaction here?

The scariest thing of all is that almost seven days before, to the hour, a similar 'Grid Iron' pass could have denied us a Six Nations title in Paris.

The call in Limerick was wrong and should be addressed by way of an apology to Treviso and to the Italian Federation. Rugby should be proud of its use of technology but never so proud as not to own up when it makes a mistake.

Irish Independent

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