Awful officials get the axe

Referee Rohan Hoffmann and TMO George Ayoub have been demoted following their officiating in the Sharks' defeat to the Waratahs in Sydney.

Ayoub made two crucial calls, disallowing what appeared a legitimate try by the Sharks’ S’bura Sithole, after awarding a contentious try to Waratahs wing Taqele Naiyaravoro, despite no clear evidence that the ball was grounded.

Those two calls, as well as Hoffmann’s general handling of the match, have been strongly criticised, leading Sanzar’s game manager Lyndon Bray to take action.

Ayoub will not officiate any Vodacom Super Rugby game this weekend, while Hoffmann will run the touchline for the match between the Force and the Highlanders on Saturday.

Furthermore, TMO Vinny Munro, who denied the Chiefs a match-winning try towards the end of their defeat to the Hurricanes in Wellington, has also been stood down as Bray cracks down on poor officiating.

'While we acknowledge that the match officials cannot get it right all of the time, there are some basic standards that have simply not been upheld over this past weekend, resulting in some disappointing decisions and selection consequences,' said Bray.

'A thorough and robust system is in place whereby the development and performance of each match official is reviewed by Saznzar and its member unions on a daily basis and like any athlete participating in elite competition, our referees are accountable to performance levels for the competition.

'Appointments are made weekly based on performance reviews from the previous round but also includes an evaluation of the current form of each official over the term of the competition.

'We have completed our reviews from the weekend and have followed strong internal processes as we prepare our team to reach their physical, mental and technical peaks as we head into the critical last four rounds of the regular season and Super Rugby finals series.

'Public confidence in match officials is essential to the ongoing success of our product and we will continue striving to enhance the quality and accountability of refereeing across all Sanzar competitions.'

Mark Keohane: Refereeing is a shambles

Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images