South African referees boss André Watson says Lions coach John Mitchell was wrong to criticise the assistant referees after his side lost to the Sharks in Durban over the weekend.
Mitchell was unhappy over two decisions in the build-up to Sharks tries and also about the general efforts from the inexperienced duo of Quinton Immelman and Marc van Zyl, who were referee Mark Lawrence’s assistants.
Mitchell also criticised the Television Match Official (TMO), Johan Meuwesen.
“There were some dubious officials tonight, so we’re going to have to report the TMO on the evidence that we have.
“That’s something we’ll have to deal with upstairs.
“They won’t change the result, but clearly [the officials] need to be accountable at this level,” Mitchell told SAPA after his side’s 32-20 loss.
But Watson disagrees with the Lions coach.
“They (the assistants) made no conspicuous errors and only did their job.
“And they are highly specialised assistant referees who are respected by the IRB and SANZAR,” Watson told the Beeld newspaper.
According to Watson there’s too much doubt to say with certainty that the wrong calls were made.
“With (Lwazi) Mvovo’s try three camera shots did not show his foot touching the sideline and the fourth one also wasn’t clear enough.
“Mitchell may have had a case with the alleged forward pass (which led to Meyer Bosman’s try) but one also can’t say with certainty it was forward.”