Kaplan: McCaw try was illegal

Jonathan Kaplan (Gallo Images)
Jonathan Kaplan (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former South African Test referee Jonathan Kaplan says Richie McCaw’s try against the Springboks was not done in a legal manner.

McCaw caught the Boks napping when he scored a match-winning try in the 74th minute of last Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash in Johannesburg.

The All Blacks ran a crafty lineout move close to the tryline which saw hooker Codie Taylor throw a low ball to McCaw, who joined the lineout from the scrumhalf position before catching the ball and barging over the line.

Kaplan commented on the decision via his website, www.ratetheref.co.za.

He wrote: “As a receiver, he (McCaw) has to stand 2m away from the lineout. It is questionable whether he was. Moreover he cannot move into the lineout to receive the ball until the ball has left the hands of the thrower.

“It is clear he does start moving before the ball has left the hands of the hooker. The referee (Jerome Garces) never had a clue what was going on. One can see with his body language, that he was quite happy to award the try. Not even a referral! No TMO intervention either.”

Kaplan said Bok skipper Schalk Burger should also have done more to try persuading Garces to refer the decision upstairs.

“Crucially, where was our leadership to insist that this important and defining score be verified. Now I really like Schalk Burger as a human being, and I admire him as a rugby player, so I don’t really want to be too critical, but these are the moments that matter. I’m not sure whether he was empowered to challenge, or whether he did at all, but we needed a result here and there was a window of opportunity to get it, and we didn’t identify it.”

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