All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has welcomed World Rugby’s decision to implement a new TMO trial during the November Tests. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
World Rugby on Wednesday announced a closed trial revising the scope of the TMO usage during the end-of-year Tests hosted by tier-one nations. The key objective of the trial is to reduce TMO reliance and time impact, while ensuring clear, consistent and accurate on-field decision-making.
Speaking at a press conference in Johannesburg on Thursday, Hansen said it was high time the TMO’s influence on games was reduced.
‘My understanding is that they want to give the referee more control and I think that’s great,’ said Hansen. ‘The game doesn’t need a TMO running it, we need the referee running it with support from the assistant referees and the TMO. That’s what they are trying to steer at and hopefully, we get there.’
When probed on how this new trial will differ from the current TMO laws, Hansen said: ‘At the moment, everything gets checked. Back in the old days, nothing got checked and a few things were missed, but largely it swung in roundabouts. You won some and lost some.
‘If the ref hasn’t seen it and it is not blatant foul play, they should just get on with it. He still has the ability to ask for something if he wants to, which is different to being told something by the TMO.’
Hansen explained that he thought the decision was in response to regular criticism of TMO involvement in games.
‘I don’t think it’s in response to concerns surrounding host broadcasters, it’s in response to the fans, players and everybody else involved in the game understanding that we are wasting a heck of a lot of time on some stuff that we don’t need to. If I’m in charge of something and I want something to be checked, I’ll ask. We [rugby people] feel that referees stand to lose control if the TMO continues to have that much influence.’
Hansen added that a similar protocol had to be put in place for host broadcasters, who replay video footage of incidents not picked up by match officials.
‘That is a separate issue altogether. It’s a different scenario. There should be one in place, yes. But as it is, there isn’t and we’re not complaining. But a protocol on those sort of things will be good as well.’
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