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'He's been hung out to dry' | Wood on TMO controversy

Keith Wood joined OTB AM to discuss the British and Irish Lions exploits in South Africa and he a...



'He's been hung out to dry' |...
Rugby

'He's been hung out to dry' | Wood on TMO controversy

Keith Wood joined OTB AM to discuss the British and Irish Lions exploits in South Africa and he also gave his thoughts on the controversy surrounding the Television Match Official (TMO) Marius Jonker.

Kiwi official Brendon Pickerill was originally supposed to be in the TMO role for the first Test but had to withdraw due to Covid-related travel issues. The South African Jonker was then called upon and acted as TMO in the Lions 22-17  victory in Cape Town.

Prior to the game, the Lions had aired concerns, fearing Jonker’s ability to maintain neutrality but it was the Springboks who were ruing refereeing decisions in their defeat.

South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus then suggested that the Lions’ airing of worries over Jonker did not “sit well” with the Springboks camp, raising tensions ahead of Saturday’s second Test.

"Jonker has been totally hung out to dry," Keith Wood told OTB AM.

"It’s poor organisation that there wasn’t a plan B and plan C for this tour when we know that travel is so limited and when there is so much riding on it.

"To not actually have a back up TMO is very poor and I think they’ve made a bit of a mess of it.

Wood then gave his thoughts on some of the key decisions that Jonker made and if South Africa were right to feel aggrieved.

"When I looked at his decisions, I thought it was a yellow card at least for Hamish Watson," he said. 

"It was glossed over very, very quickly and you can understand why South Africa would argue about that.

"To be fair, they were very gracious immediately afterwards but then they lost some of that during the week through that Twitter nonsense that was going on."

Wood also pointed to some of the general issues he has with the TMO.

"My issue with the TMO is that it needs to be glaringly obvious as opposed to watching it 25 times for the possibility of a fingernail touching a ball and knocking it forward.

"I don’t agree with it, the game slows down too much, you lose too much impetus. 

"It makes the fans angry and that’s something that’s also quite annoying and on that side I think it’s not great."

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Lions Officiating Rassie Erasmus Refereeing Rugby South Africa TMO Warren Gatland