TMO loophole must be addressed immediately: Larkham

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham has called on SANZAAR to immediately address a loophole that proved a double edged sword for his team on Friday night.

His plea comes a week after the Waratahs missed a crucial  bonus point because the TMO was able to call a review before Bernard Foley shot for a conversion, disallowing a try.

No referee can call for a review once the conversion has been taken and Foley said if a situation like that came up again, he wouldn’t hesitate to take the kick.

The Brumbies had one try awarded and one disallowed through the same quirky loophole on Friday night.

In the first half, Christian Lealiifano managed a quick conversion attempt of his own try before a replay showing a potential forward pass was complete, preventing any possible review.

An Allan Alaalatoa try was disallowed after referee Rohan Hoffmann stopped Lealiifano in his run up after spotting a possible knock on in the process.

Replays brought up conjecture as to whether Brumbies blindside Scott Fardy had knocked it on or it was in fact stripped but the point would have been moot had Lealiifano gone for the shot.

Christian Lealiifano's try was not reviewed. Photo: Getty ImagesLarkham said the whole process was frustrating and needed to be addressed by the end of the season.

“From the box I’m a little bit disappointed. I could’ve told him to kick it a little bit quicker, and then we probably got lucky with that first one in the first half as well.

“It’s something that has to certainly be addressed going forward and preferably before the end of this competition.”

“Steve (Moore) made a good point - if it wasn’t a try would they go back and do anything about it (the  forward pass)?”

“So they’ve got to change it somehow.”

Rebels coach Tony McGahan wasn’t dwelling on the calls post-match, though they could have gleaned a bonus point out of a closer result.

“It is what it is at this point in time,” he said.

“Until it’s changed we’re happy to let it stand. It certainly didn’t cost us the game but that’s the way it is.

“(It) probably says he (Lealiifano) reads the papers and understands that Bernard Foley was in the same situation last week and Bernard said if that was the case, if he was in that situation again he’d just get the ball kick it as quickly as he could and move on and make the try sit.

“We were probably pretty fortunate that we made a lot of noise to make sure we got the last one reviewed, which was evident but we were pretty lucky there because it would’ve been another try against the run of play that would have been disappointing.”

Captain Nic Stirzaker gave Lealiifano kudos for taking the quick kick when he could.

“He knew the rules and went for it, good on him,” he said.

“He’s well within his rights to do that so smart play from him.

“It’s just disappointing we didn’t get the call earlier. We’ve got to be better in our kick chase line to stop it before it gets to that point.”


The Brumbies sit on top of the Australian conference, four points clear of the Waratahs and six ahead of the Rebels.