SPORTS

Match Officials Under Fire

South Africans,  referee Jaco Peyper and TMO Shaun Veldsmen, came under fire after the Vodafone Flying Fijians-England  Rugby World Cup opener at Twickenham yesterday. They were criticised for the way
20 Sep 2015 10:01
Match Officials Under Fire
Vodafone Flying Fijian winger, Nemani Nadolo scores a try against England. Photo: Planet Rugby

South Africans,  referee Jaco Peyper and TMO Shaun Veldsmen, came under fire after the Vodafone Flying Fijians-England  Rugby World Cup opener at Twickenham yesterday.

They were criticised for the way they handled the match by players, fans and officials in the world of rugby.

The Flying Fijians lost 11-35 despite playing with passion but they won the hearts of many people in and outside of Fiji. They felt that the Flying Fijians were not given a fair go.

Australia rugby writer Greg Growden raised his concern about Peyper’s performance.

“The referee has to use the TMO but there is a hard fast rule. They can only go to it if there is  uncertainty.

“With Peyper’s case he gave the try to Fiji that should stand. The referee got it wrong, he should have stuck with the decision and Fiji got every right to be upset,” Growden said. He was referring to the disallowed try of halfback Nikola Matawalu.

Growden strongly believes the situation needs to be fixed.

“This whole situation needs to be fixed because the rules are changing all the time.

“Not all referees know how to use TMO properly, the TMO is good for rugby but there is going to be a hard and fast rule.

“We don’t want to see situations where the conversion is about to be taken and the referee stops and says that there is something on screen,” he added.

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has appealed for a fair deal from referees as he embarks on a campaign to produce the first side to win successive Rugby World Cups.

“All we want is for them to be consistent,” Hansen said after naming a full strength squad for the All Blacks first match against Argentina on Monday.

“The game is extremely difficult to ref they’re going to miss some things and we’ve just got to deal with that. And they’ll make mistakes just like I do as a coach and our players do as players and in the game we have just have to deal with it.

“But if they can be consistent, if that’s offside today then that’s offside for the whole game as an example, and if they do that then no one’s got any complaints.”

But the constant replays and subsequent delays saw the 82,000 strong crowd and millions more around the world grow restless. No doubt foreign observers were confused, too.

Veldsman was called upon too frequently. First to assess a lifting tackle from Fijian flanker Dominiko Waqaniburotu on English wing Jonny May. He got that one right with just a penalty.

After referee Peyper awarded what appeared to be a brilliant solo try to Fijian halfback Nikola Matawalu, the TMO was back in action with replays showing he had in fact dropped the ball over the line. That forced Peyper to reverse his decision.

And when superstar wing Nemani Nadolo caught a perfect cross field kick from soon-to-be Crusaders team-mate Ben Volavola, once more we were forced to wait.

What seemed clear and obvious to everyone was that Nadolo had scored a brilliant try. Instead  he was reviewed because the on-field officials lacked confidence.

Feedback:  anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

 

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