Referees given more responsibility as Super Rugby changes video review system

Super Rugby referees will now have to state their "on-field decision" before sending a call up to the TMO.
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Super Rugby referees will now have to state their "on-field decision" before sending a call up to the TMO.

Super Rugby has changed its rules surrounding in-game video reviews, now favouring a system that more closely resembles the one used by the NRL.

Previously, referees have been able to send contentious decisions upstairs without providing the television match official (TMO) with their take on the incident.

From this season onwards, any referee who wants a decision reviewed by the TMO will first have to state their "on-field decision", based on their real-time view.

The TMO will then only be able to overturn the call if there is "compelling" video evidence.

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The only exception is in the case of a potential foul play incident, which can still be referred to the TMO without the referee's input - or, alternatively, the referee can review it themselves on the big screen at the stadium if it is of sufficient quality.

SANZAAR say the changes reflect the emerging camera and split-screen TV technology available and will lead to quicker, more accurate decisions after several controversial outcomes throughout the course of last season.

"The general consensus is that with the new technology and the protocol of a definitive "on-field call", time is saved and the awkward conversation between referee and TMO that occurs from time to time is eliminated," SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos said.

"SANZAAR is confident this will enhance the fan's match experience.

"This also aligns our sport's process with that of almost all the other high performance sports, which use a television replay protocol."

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The TMO changes come after SANZAAR unveiled alterations to Super Rugby's judiciary, including the closure of a 'phantom' suspension loophole, on Thursday.

 - AAP

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