There is a modification to the TMO protocol enabling the referee to make his own decisions from the big screen at the ground.
Up till now he has been allowed to do this only for foul play even though he has been responsible for reacting to all TMO advice. He has been the man with the final say. Now he has a bigger say.
The TMO protocol has been has been slightly changed to enable him to watch the big screen and make decisions on things like knock-ons, the scoring of tries and offside – law infringements as well as foul play infringements. The referee will still refer to the TMO who will see to the activation of the big screen and will still be ready to advise the referee.
The referee still has the support of the TMO’s advice as in the past. In fact the referee may have difficulty in making a decision from the big screen because of poor quality or wether conditions. Then he will rely solely on the TMO’s advice.
This modification has emerged from the IRB’s Law Revision Group in Dublin recently.
It will apply to the Tests between New Zealand and Argentina and between Australia and South Africa.
PS. As an Afrikaans columnist remarked this morning: TMO has become filled with refs who did not make it with the whistle: Willie Roos, Linston Manuels (remember him?), Deon van Bblommestein, Shaun Veldsman.
(RW: Surely we can add to this list the names of a few from overseas?)
It will not apply to other matches immediately, such as the three Currie Cup matches.