Former England wing Mark Cueto still believes that his disallowed try during the 2007 World Cup final against South Africa should have stood and would have proved match-winning.
Irish referee Alain Rolland was unsighted when Cueto dived over in the corner and referred the decision to TMO Stuart Dickinson. After spending over two minutes reviewing replays of the incident, the Australian eventually adjudged that Cueto’s left foot had made contact with the touchline, after a desperate attempted tackle from Bok eighthman Danie Rossouw.
The Boks claimed the 15-6 victory courtesy of penalties from Percy Montgomery and Frans Steyn, with Cueto still adamant that England would have become back-to-back world champions had his try been awarded.
‘Everyone takes the mick out of me when I say I still think it was a try but I genuinely do,’ Cueto told the PA news agency.
‘There’s a million angles to suggest it was a try and there was one angle where it was 50-50. So in that case you’ve got to go with it.’
Cueto added he believes that the try would have been given today, as a result of advancements in technology.
‘VAR is so prominent in football at the moment and is almost at the point where we were with the TMO 12 years ago,’ continued Cueto.
‘It had only just been introduced to the game and there weren’t as many camera angles and as many cameras at the matches, so it made it difficult.
‘The one shot from behind that showed my foot in the air over the touchline, that camera is probably 100 metres away from where I actually was.
‘That shows how basic the TMO was back then, whereas now they’ve got cameras in the flags so every angle is taken care of and you can get within a metre of every play in the game.
‘Everything is so advanced now, you rarely get the decision wrong. Let’s hope there isn’t a controversial issue like that on Saturday but, if there was, I think you’d definitely be able to make a 100% decision on whether it was or wasn’t.’
Cueto, who is now commercial director at Premiership club Sale Sharks, says that he is still reminded of the controversial incident to this day.
‘I thought it would last maybe six weeks and once the World Cup has died down it would all be forgotten. But 12 years on, believe it or not, it still seems to come up every other day. It’s incredible really. But I see it as a positive.
‘It’s my fifth year since I retired and you soon get forgotten, so it’s quite a nice thing to be remembered. Obviously I’d rather be remembered for something a bit more positive.’
Photo: REUTERS/Howard Burditt