While attempting to score, Lions centre Deon van Rensburg lost the ball when he was tackled by Blues wing Charles Piutau.
The ball spilled forward into the in-goal area, with Lions fullback Coenie van Wyk falling on the loose ball for the “try”.
South African referee Stuart Berry initially referred the incident to the TMO (Johan Greeff), asking whether Van Rensburg knocked the ball forward or whether it was the Blues player that knocked it out of his hands.
While replays CLEARLY showed Van Rensburg was carrying the ball before losing it in the tackle, staggeringly Berry awarded the try!
SuperSport commentators Hugh Bladen and Joel Stransky were baffled by the decision, with Stransky going on to say “that is not how the laws of the game of rugby union work.”
The Blues, who ended up losing the game 39-36, questioned the decision and asked for SANZAR to provide clarity on the call.
The Blues picked up two points in their defeat (one for scoring four tries or more and one for losing by seven or fewer points). Had the “try” not been awarded, they’d have picked up a full-house of five log points. Whether those three “lost” points come back to haunt the men from Auckland remains to be seen…
Bray on Wednesday cleared the air, saying the WRONG call was made by the officials and that a scrum should have been awarded to the Blues instead.
He wrote the following on the SANZAR website regarding the incident.
“Lions No 13 (Van Rensburg) is carrying the ball and about to attempt to score a try. Blues No 11 (Charles Piutau) effects a tackle and Lions No 13 loses possession as a result.
“While the Blues player does jolt the ball out of his possession, he is not trying to deliberately ‘rip the ball’ out of the player’s possession. The onus is on the ball carrier to maintain possession while being tackled. Therefore, this should have been ruled as a knock on and subsequently, no try,” concluded Bray.
Ironically, Berry and Greeff will again be on duty this coming weekend when the Lions host the Reds at Ellis Park on Saturday (17:05 kick-off).