Rules under microscope as Fox defends spidercam

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by Beth Newman

Images have emerged of possible contact between Mike Fraser and Wallabies captain Stephen Moore in Saturday night's third Test, that left Michael Cheika fuming.

Stills from Fox Sports's broadcast show Fraser seemingly touching Moore's back, or going very near, as he prepares for his throw.

That throw missed debutant Adam Coleman, leading to a scrum, off which England number eight Billy Vunipola scored a try to take the lead for his side again.

Stpehen Moore's lineout throw. Photo: SuppliedStephen Moore's lineout throw led to a scrum and England try. Photo: SuppliesMeanwhile, Fox Sports has defended the placement of the Spidercam, after Cheika called for a review of regulation around the camera innovation.

The Wallabies were on the rough end of a call by referee Nigel Owens in the 42nd minute, when the ball hit the spider cam.

England flyhalf Owen Farrell was booting the ball out of danger when it hit one of the spidercam wires, falling to the advantage of England lock Maro Itoje, who passed it to scrumhalf Ben Youngs, who booted it to the corner.

Owens called play on when the collision occurred, with Youngs taking the pressure off his side with the kick.

“You can’t hit the camera wire and [have it be] play on and he said out of the microphone. ‘50-50 for each team" - Wallabies Coach Michael Cheika

"No, you’re waiting to catch the ball and it hits the wire you’re all of a sudden out of position and the ball’s been kicked to us.

“I don’t see how that can be play on.”

World Rugby regulation 20.4 says if the ball contacting Spidercam causes a stoppage in play, then a scrum should be awarded to the team moving forward beforehand.

In cricket, collisions with Spidercam are declared dead balls, though discretion is used in rugby.

Wallabies Captain Stephen Moore also frustrated with many of the decisions during the series, including the first 'SpiderCam' incident in the history of the sport.

“I think there has to be a clear rule about that,” he said

“If it hits the wire there has to be an outcome, doesn’t it? I don’t think you can say play on.”

Fox Sports said on Sunday that the camera was beyond the 20m height it is required to be during general play, in accordance with strict regulations.

“It has been no secret I haven’t been happy with the refereeing." Cheika added

“We have tried to make that point by sending our clips in and following the channels, but it has cost us a lot of points hasn’t it? You can’t deny that.”

World Rugby has been contacted for comment on both of these issues, and the ARU is believed to have requested official confirmation on the ruling in writing.