Have Sky been told not to criticize Refereees/TMOs?

  • Last week I noticed that Tony Johnson on Rugby nation defended the TMO's decision in the Highlanders Hurricanes ball against the post non try 'saying it was the right decision if he had no conclusive proof'. During the week SANZAR came out and said it should have been awarded. This week on rugby nation he acknowledged this but then says tough call for any TMO to have to make, which I find staggering given everyone else including the onfeild referee and the Hurricanes after the replays seem to assume he was going to award it.
    Then in the Hurricanes Blues game he says the right decision was made in the Ardie Savea knock on try. Real time has nothing to do with it. If in the course of reviewing whether a try has been scored the ball touches someones hand then goes forward it is a knock on. If we are going to judge things in real time we should not use the TMO in the lead up to tries especially when they slowed the shit out of Li's try to rule the forward pass shortly afterwards. Again Johnson was glowing in his praise for the officials.
    The kicker though was the Sharks V Stormers game where the TMO and ref with slowed down replays managed to rule the Sharks halfback grounding the ball on Kolisi's foot as a deliberate kick and awarded a penalty try and yellow card. It was an appalling bad decision and both the ref and TMO deserve to be sanctioned. Cost the Stormers the game as well. Johnsons comments though. Really difficult for the officials to judge intent, I will let you be the judge of that.
    In addition it appeared in the highlights the SAFFER commentators were criticizing the crap out of the officials in the aftermath the same way as ours used to but thinking back to the NZ games the NZ commentators seemed to back the officials after the decisions had been made even changing opinions if necessary. Even Justin Marshall who made a name for himself and is much loved by 'neutrals' for saying the officials got it wrong in favour of the NZ team.
    In the light of this I am wondering if Sky NZ has been given the hard word by the NZRU or SANZAR not to criticize officials decisions like they have in the past. Is this Sanzar wide and the Saffers forgot because the decision was so bad. I haven't watched any games other than the NZ ones, are the Aussie commentators doing likewise? What will Phil Kearns have to contribute if this is the case. The test will come when Justin Marshall commentates a NZ team against foreign opposition. Will he be able to resist playing to his audience by saying the NZ side is benefiting from bad refereeing decisions?

  • Will [Justin] he be able to resist playing to his audience by saying the NZ side is benefiting from bad refereeing decisions?

    Bad for JM means 'not the way I would prefer the referee to interpret based on who is playing and my personal life philosophy as a halfback'.  The laws of the game have little to do with his opinions.

    Send all the damn commentators on a refereeing course I say.

  • off topic, but mehrts is good eh...
    other commentator (can't remember who): romano, a big dummy, off he goes!
    mehrts: 'you can't call him that!'
    i think comms should go relatively easy on refs. or at least be subtle or very calm and reasonable about it. the more they have a go at refs in the heat of the moment, the more they are encouraging kids listening to do the same, and fuckwit adults to yell at refs at their kids games. post-game analysis should be harsh though.

  • I hope so, maybe they've been watching Foxtel with Phil Kearns had a eureka moment about how fucking miserable it is to listen to commentators moaning about refs.

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