"It was tough" - Rugby World Cup referee believes 'bunker' system was a mistake - Ruck

“It was tough” – Rugby World Cup referee believes ‘bunker’ system was a mistake

World Rugby is facing criticism from a prominent referee, French official Mathieu Raynal, who has raised concerns about the abrupt introduction of the television match official “bunker” just ahead of the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

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Raynal advocates for officials having the ability to provide post-match explanations of their decisions to the media.

“I think it was probably a mistake to put the bunker in at the last moment just before the World Cup without practising it and using it more,” said the 42-year-old.

“That was a mistake. It was tough, too, because you send a situation to the bunker, they come back to you with a decision, and you cannot explain to the world why you made that decision.

“Before that, we could put words on the footage and could take people by the hands and they followed us until the final decision. That was interesting in terms of communication and explanation. Now, with the bunker, we cut this relationship with the people in front of their TVs or the people in the stands, which was difficult.

“I said, before the World Cup, when we discussed how we should communicate in front of the press if there had been a mistake that changed the game. My view on that is we have to keep it very simple – I go and sit on a chair, and explain, ‘OK, guys, I made a mistake.

“The game was so quick, I made a mistake of judgement. I’m not sorry about it, as my job is to referee and mistakes can happen, but I am sad about it – but it is what it is. What do you want me to do? I will not jump off the top of a building because I made a mistake on the field.’ It’s the life of the referees.

“I hope we will keep the relationship between the coaches, referees, players and fans as simple as we can. It’s easier when you say to fans, ‘Yeah I made a mistake.’ What can we do after that?”

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