Quicker, accurate decision-making is the rationale behind trial amendments to the Television Match Official (TMO) protocol announced by World Rugby.
Starting for all competitions and stand-alone matches taking place after 1 July, the TMO will be given greater scope, supporting better, quicker decisions.
Formal adoption of the current practice of ‘on the run’ decision-making, where the TMO acts as a ‘sweeper’ on behalf of the referee to examine the following scenarios without stopping play:
- Law 8 Scoring: Incidents relating to whether a player was in touch or touch-in-goal
- Law 9: Dangerous play, specific to where any dangerous play can be immediately determined as a ‘play on’ or a penalty kick only offence
- Law 11: Knock-on or throw forward
- Law 18.2-18.8: All touch/touch-in-goal decisions, including whether a ball was in touch or not, and who took it into touch
In addition, in the event of a try, should the footage relating to an infringement only be made available by the broadcaster after the conversion has taken place, but before the restart, then the referee and TMO may highlight the infringement and deal with it accordingly.
The revised protocol has been designed with input from the world’s top match officials, broadcasters and laws experts, underpinning a collaborative and solution-focused approach.
Nigel Owens wants FOUR law changes to encourage ‘expansive rugby’
Popular referee Nigel Owens says rugby’s new Laws are NOT working to improve the game.
The Welshman, who hung up his whistle two years ago, has come up with four possible changes to encourage expansive rugby.
#1. Scrap the goal-line dropout
Owens wrote: “As for goal-line dropouts, I was a big fan initially because I felt it would prevent attacking teams from numerous pick-and-gos near the try line, with teams instead attempting to move the ball wide to avoid being held up and losing possession. But I’m not sure it has worked as planned. We still see plenty of pick-and-gos until teams get over, we still see plenty of mauls and the number of collisions hasn’t decreased.
“We are also seeing fewer scrums near the goal line, and to be honest I’m not sure that is a good thing. The scrum needs to be an important part of the game, and right now we are not seeing the benefits of it. Rugby must continue to be a game for all shapes and sizes, and at all levels, too.
Attacking teams are also kicking longer knowing that if the ball rolls dead, the defending team has to do a goal-line dropout and they can get the ball back. We’ve also lost the short dropouts we used to see from the 22-metre line where teams would compete to win the ball back, or a quick dropout would be taken, because teams now backed up on their goal line just kick the ball long to escape and what happens? The opposition kick it back.
“From initially believing it would work, I would now like the goal-line dropout law to go to be honest. If anything it is having a negative effect.”