Ref Review: Need For A TMO Review?

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LONDON, ENGLAND – The school term is coming to a close and if you’ve asked my friends, I believe some would say that I’ve never studied a day in my life…. except for when it comes to rugby. And there may or may not be some truth to that. To that end, let’s have a quick study on tackles and see if there is a Need For A TMO Review.

The Aviva Premiership is a good place to start, what with the 4 recent red cards. Let’s have a look at our first clip:

For this tackle/penalty, I can see where J.P. Doyle is coming from.
It looks bad.  The players legs go skyward, the torso stays flat and overall, it just ooks bad.  But watch the slow-mo; as we can see it’s only looks penalty-worthy. It was actually a perfectly legal tackle.  Unfortunately for Irish, they were playing down 14 men for about 70 minutes of the game.

Let’s move on to the Bath vs Leicester game.  THREE RED CARDS!?:

The first red card we see nothing other than the player being held on the ground. Consider my non-commet as my commentary! The other two red cards, however, were spot on. Here we see the proper definition of a “bad tackle.” Both of them deserve to be off.  What I find interesting here is the fact that the referee chose not to reverse the more major offense. But by the letter of the law that shouldn’t be. Personally, I like that; just go with the most major of offenses and get on with it.

Now for the rant of the article!  We need a TMO Review.  Why?  Because we’ve seen what unjust red and yellow cards can do to a team. Think back to the 6 Nations match between Ireland & Wales. Two yellow cards – one that should have been red and the other that should’ve been a penalty only.

I’d like to advocate for a TMO Review.  A system where when a card is given, no matter the color, it goes under a TMO review. If it’s a yellow card, the sanction may only be upped. However, if it’s a red card the TMO should have the power to turn it into a yellow card.  This would get errors out of the game and allow for the most fair and effective outcome.

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About Cody Kuxmann 60 Articles
Cody Kuxmann is a Referee at London Society Of Rugby Football Union deciple... When not sending innocents to the Sin Bin, The American International University in London grad splits time between England and... Green Bay, WI! And like all referees, is Blind, Deaf and Dumb.