Gareth Anscombe’s disallowed try was a huge decision in England’s win over Wales and the television match official Glenn Newman got that call wrong – but it shouldn’t have been a try anyway, according to former England star Jeremy Guscott.
The TMO should have been shown the action frame by frame, which would have revealed the ball was touched down by Wales full-back Anscombe – his fingers brush it before England wing Anthony Watson gets his hands on the ball – so the touchdown is good.
But if he had seen the play frame by frame, he would also have seen the ball hitting Wales winger Steff Evans’ fingers in the build-up – so the try wouldn’t have stood as it was a knock-on.
Forget the grounding, it looks like the ball comes forward off Steff Evans fingers first? pic.twitter.com/iJLlyBuXJq
— rugby (@theblitzdefence) February 11, 2018
What the game has to do is give the TMO the best possible shot he can get at making the right decision.
After the game social media started showing footage that he got the Anscombe decision wrong – but it also showed you Evans’ finger bending from the ball hitting it, and then after that the touchdown is good.
The TMO didn’t make a wrong decision with the footage we saw on TV, it wasn’t clear. He worked with what he had, and it only becomes clear and obvious when you go frame by frame.
This decision shows there is still work to be done with how the TMO system operates. We can’t say how the result might have been different if the try had been awarded but we don’t need many more situations like this before we lose faith in the system.
With the video referee in rugby league, decisions happen really quickly. They’ve got it spot on and they rarely make mistakes. It’s very fluid and rugby union should be learning from it.
In rugby league it’s a very slick operation, but in rugby union it feels clunky because of the conversation between the TMO and the referee. They need to work on it.
Ultimately, it’s the referee who makes the decision on the advice of the TMO. But in the game you just have to get on with it; even in football they don’t spend the next 10 minutes going up to the referee.