Sanzaar will have a specific review into the practical implementation of the television match official protocols.
In a press release on Monday, Sanzaar CEO Andy Marinos acknowledged that the ‘past four weeks of international and domestic rugby have highlighted some challenges within the match officiating processes in the game of rugby, in particular, the events over the past two weeks of Super Rugby.
‘Match officiating is a very important component of our game that undergoes continuous review to keep abreast of law changes and specific directives passed down from World Rugby. The performances of the guys in the middle and those on the sidelines, and behind the TV monitor, are regularly reviewed and appraised to ensure the best referees and officials are officiating in Super Rugby matches.
‘Like a player, match officials who consistently do not perform to the level required are stood down from time to time, with specific game related work then done to get them back to performing consistently.
‘A major concern for us at present is the practical implementation of the TMO protocols, which are clearly not working and a specific review is required in this area.
‘We believe the appointed referee needs to remain the key decision maker on the field and that TMO interventions only provide context to the match officials’ decision-making. We need better consistency in the application of the protocols and most would agree that perhaps this is not the case. The aim of the review will be to drive some operational changes to the protocols to ensure this consistency so that better outcomes are delivered.
‘In terms of the Super Rugby playoffs, Sanzaar will appoint the four referees for the quarter-finals. These will be merit-based and their selection has included direct input from the Super Rugby head coaches.’
Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images