Former Waratahs and Brumbies forward Stephen Hoiles says Rugby’s TMO system is becoming a “blight on the game”.
Hoiles, speaking on rugby.com.au, said the drawn out discussions between the on-field referee and TMO, which sometimes expose differing interpretations of a situation, made for ineffective decision-making.
“The whole discussion between the referee and the TMO at the moment is a blight on the game,” he said.
“You don’t want to hear inaccuracies between TMO and referee.
“(In) the communication time that drags out, it seems as though the TMO and the ref are just having a conversation.
“Generally they tend to disagree (with each other) and make their own minds up really.”
Hoiles blamed the process, not necessarily the officials, for the inefficiencies in the system, with pressure on whistle-blowers to make the correct decision every time..
“It’s just time wasting, not just for the players but for the audience,” he said.
“There seems to be (so much) pressure put on these officials to get things right that they’re so paranoid, they take so much time,” he said.
“Rugby’s a fast, physical game and we can’t have these long, extended breaks.
“The dialogue between the two is really unclear and it doesn’t give you any indication of who’s in charge.”
Hoiles said clear distinctions between the domain of the TMO and on-field officials needed to be established.
“When you walk on the field you know the referee’s in charge of decision but the fact the TMO can go back and look at foul play and make comments here and there makes it difficult,” he said.
“Sometimes the referee listens to him, sometimes he makes his own mind up.
“I do like the way the other codes do it, league in particular.
“(In league), when it does go upstairs it is that person's decision. At the moment it’s very grey (in Rugby).”