‘TMO should say sorry to Cheetahs’

Brendan Venter says Johan Greeff should have apologised to the Cheetahs for disallowing a legitimate try against the Crusaders last Saturday.

The Cheetahs were trailing 15-7 late in the first half when Ox Nche put Sergeal Petersen away for a try. However, when the pass was referred to Greeff in the TMO booth, he claimed he had 'compelling evidence' that it had gone forward, even though TV replays showed the ball going backwards from Nche's hands.

Instead of the deficit being reduced to three points, or just one if the conversion had gone over, the Crusaders hit back with a try that saw them take a 22-7 lead into the break. The visitors went on to win 48-21.

In his latest column for The Times, Venter said match officials should be held accountable for their mistakes.

'There was no clear evidence of a forward pass, but TMO Johan Greeff saw fit to rule against a legitimate try, which resulted in a 14-point swing,' wrote the Bok defence coach. 'It was an embarrassing faux pas and is genuinely not good enough at professional level.

'When someone does something for free you cannot really expect much from that person. But the moment they get paid for their services there is a certain standard required.

'Greeff made a call on the day that cannot be justified. It would have been the right thing to send Cheetahs coach Franco Smith an SMS on the Monday to apologise for his mistake, but I doubt an apology was forthcoming.

'The crux of the matter is that coaches get fired if they fail to produce results, and match officials should also be held accountable.'

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Simon Borchardt