Joe Molloy was joined by Fiona Hayes and Rúaidhrí O'Connor on Monday Night Rugby this evening, diving into all the latest outcomes from the provinces as well as the battle referees now face to make quick on field decisions when officiating matches.
A tackle made by England’s Owen Farrell over the weekend is the latest to come under intense scrutiny and bring up the question as to how long referees should take to make a decision on field. It further showcases as journalist Rúaidhrí O'Connor marked out on Monday Night Rugby how “people are trying to improve the sport but you're also trying to improve the safety and that's a really difficult balance that we're finding on all fronts.”
The incident saw the Saracens number 10’s shoulder make contact with Gloucester’s Jack Clement’s head and although TMO Claire Hodnett brought the coming together to referee Karl Dickson’s attention it was decided that too much time had surpassed to review the decision during the game.
“There’s no remit so I think it was an error on their behalf” former Irish player Fiona Hayes added.
Another point to add says O'Connor is that perhaps such a decision wouldn’t have been taken as recent as a few years ago.
“Pre Christmas before World Rugby announced this plan to speed up the game which included quicker TMO decisions, they would have taken a breath, the would have gathered over the big screen and talked about it. They would have watched it 1500 times and we all would have had time to make a cup of tea or go to the bathroom during this very slow decision before Owen Farrell would have been either yellow or red carded” he says.
“We're all annoyed by the fact the games are taking more than two hours… I think the length of time you're sitting in the stadium at games is crazy, but if you don't take the time to litigate these things over a long period of time sometimes and watch the replays you're not going to get the decisions.”
Such time constraints mean there’s “always going to be things missed because referees are making more decisions in the moment”, although striking the balance between the two can be difficult.
“We can't have everything” O'Connor added.
“t's when it comes to the big games it's going to be a massive issue, but they want to speed up the game so maybe it's having someone external again, looking at incidents in quick time the minute it happens and having a couple of people on board” Hayes says.
“When it is a serious incident you need to bring it back, we're talking about concussion, we're talking about head injuries, we've got to look player welfare, we've got to look at that as well as much as you want to speed up the games for the fans but you know, it's it down the line, these things are really going to come into play.”
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