'Law is an ass': Ref faces warning for no-try 'blunder'

2011-08-23 00:00

AUCKLAND — Irish referee George Clancy will control the opening match in the Rugby World Cup, but faces a warning about his no-try blunder that cost the All Blacks in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Clancy asked for a “try or no try” verdict in Jimmy Cowan’s touchdown, but broadened the inquiry when television match official Johann Meuwesen asked if he needed more information about a forward pass.

Eventually the pair rubbed the try out, but the International Rugby Board referees’ boss, New Zealander Paddy O’Brien, said the ruling was incorrect.

“The referee and the television match official were operating outside our agreed protocol,” O’Brien said. “That will be addressed with [Clancy] in our review of the game. It was disappointing and will form part of our discussions when we next meet.”

O’Brien again proved that the law is an ass because there was an obvious forward pass. All Black coach Graham Henry has accepted the call.

O’Brien said the gaffe would not have any World Cup consequences for the Irish official.

“They made a call they were not entitled to make. If that means referees miss a knock-on or something else in the lead-up to a try, then that’s the way it is. This has all been talked about at the IRB level and that was the decision.”

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