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'It's very frustrating' | O'Driscoll on missing French TV angles

Eoin Harte
Eoin Harte

03:45 16 Jan 2020


The lack of TV angles for two of Racing 92’s tries during their win over Munster in the Heineken Champions Cup greatly frustrated Brian O’Driscoll.

The former Ireland captain was on Wednesday’s Off The Ball and spoke about how it reflects badly on his employers in BT Sport when they are unable to come up with camera angles for TMO checks due to French broadcasters.

“The French directors - there’s no doubt there’s something goes on where - they’ve got 24 cameras in a stadium like that. I don’t know whether they have a quick look beforehand.

“It’s very frustrating because it looks very bad on you as a broadcaster when you’re not coming up with the angles,” O’Driscoll said.

The lack of camera angles came under scrutiny twice in the Pool 4 clash at the Paris La Defense Arena.

Both were off the back of Teddy Thomas tries, with the first one going to the TMO as a result of a potential knock-on from Virimi Vakatawa in the build-up to the try.

Vatakawa lost the ball before Teddy Iribaren’s sublime pass that put Thomas over in the corner, but referee Wayne Barnes was unable to rule the try out on the basis of there not being a clear and obvious knock-on.

While the ball may well have gone backwards, it was unusual that there were no camera angles from behind the posts available to the TMO for the potential knock-on.

For Thomas’ second try, there was again insufficient camera angles to check if the try was in fact scored.

With Barnes’ on-field decision being that the try was good, the TMO would again have to find a sufficient reason to not award the try.

There were doubts over whether Thomas was onside for Finn Russell’s cross-field kick and whether or not he grounded the ball before the dead-ball line.

However, there was no footage available that showed whether Thomas was onside for the kick and there was no camera angle from behind the dead-ball line to show whether the ball was successfully grounded.

As a result, Barnes had no option but to award the try as there was no evidence that a try had not been scored, although that’s not to say the try shouldn’t have been awarded.

The former Leinster man was annoyed at the lack of angles as well as some strange directorial decisions made in Ulster’s clash with Clermont.

“When it’s a French production, sure they shoot to the audience! In the Ulster - Clermont game they shot to two guys dressed in fancy outfits in the middle of the game for five or six seconds while play was going on.

“So they’re a law unto themselves and it is very frustrating. I think benefit of the doubt you still give the try. I think he was onside but I would’ve loved to have seen whether the ball was touched down on any part of the dead-ball line.

“But I guess we’ll never know. It was a wonderful touchdown and a try worthy of standing,” O’Driscoll said.

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Brian O'Driscoll French Tv Heineken Champions Cup Munster Racing 92

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