No Courage In Conviction

Last weekend saw the Ospreys travel to southern France for their return pool game against Bordeaux in the European Challenge Cup. Despite being behind 15 points the Ospreys fought back scoring four tries and coming back to within three points of their hosts, but it wasn’t enough to take home the win.

The welsh side deservedly took away two points, a try bonus and a losing bonus point, placing them top of their groups’ table.  A beautiful game of rugby from both sides with the only controversy coming from the breaks in play.

One incident I’m referring to is after Eli Walker’s try from the Ospreys during the second half. The try was awarded and as Dan Biggar’s conversion was sailing through the posts, the referee saw the replay and decided to check again and go to TMO. Not only had he already awarded the try, but the referee was closer to Walker’s “grounding” than anyone else on the field!

Our try was awarded (again) but this time the conversion was not as lucky costing the Ospreys two points. And all it did was confirm what the referee already knew!

I’m not blaming the referee at all and not bitter about the two points! But the TMO has become like a crutch! Making them question their own judgement, they’ve lost the courage in their own conviction. And who can blame them? If they go to TMO they get grief, if they don’t they get grief, so what to do they do?

Personally I think replays in the grounds should be banned. To blow up and question the try he’s just awarded after seeing a repeat on the screen just ruins the momentum of a game and is unfair to both teams. If you are unable to make a decision in real time, ask your assistants, then if they are still unsure then go to the television match officials as the final straw.

What happens to the games not televised? The referee’s decision is final at them, and should be at any game! TMO can be a great thing but is being abused far too much as of late and seems to be getting worse. The ultimate straw being one Osprey game being pushed back incase the match beforehand overran due to the TMO…..Don’t ruin our game.


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