British & Irish Lions

Bok coach Nienaber has no issues with disallowed Willie le Roux try: 'I trust the TMO 100%'

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Willie le Roux (Gallo)
Willie le Roux (Gallo)

One of the major talking points in Saturday's first Test between the Springboks and British & Irish Lions came on 45 minutes when Willie le Roux had a try disallowed. 

The Lions outplayed the Boks in the second half to emerge 22-17 winners in the series opener in Cape Town. 

The visitors were 12-3 down at half-time but hit back shortly after the restart with a try from hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie following a rolling maul. 

AS IT HAPPENED | Springboks 17-22 British & Irish Lions, 1st Test

The Boks, though, thought they had bounced back almost immediately when a kick ahead from Lukhanyo Am was gathered by Le Roux, who went over in the left corner. 

The on-field decision from referee Nic Berry was "try", but he sent it upstairs for referral to South African TMO Marius Jonker. 

Jonker had been in the spotlight in the build-up to the Test with the Lions reportedly unhappy that a South African had been assigned to the role. 

Replays revealed that it was difficult to determine whether Le Roux was in front of the kicker or not, and after having examined the angles Jonker agreed that it was "tight", but that the decision should be overturned as Le Roux was offsides. 

Speaking after the match, Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber said he had no issues with the decision.

"I thought it was tight," said Nienaber.

"From the beginning when we saw the try and that it was given we, as coaches, felt that it was going to be unbelievably tight.

"I completely trust and agree with the decision they made. That is their profession and that's what they are good at, and it could have gone both ways.

"I 100% agree with the TMO call. They are in a position where they have all the angles.

"Sometimes those inches go for you and you score a brilliant try from a counter-attack, and sometimes it goes against you."

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi, meanwhile, also had no issues with Berry's officiating during the game.

"I can't make that call right now, but I thought he was fair today," he said. 

"I'll have a look at the game afterwards and then speak to him during the week."

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