Clip 5 - 16 August 2017 - Law 22

It's all a matter of positioning and good communication.

Malcolm Marx of the Lions throws into a line-out. Kwagga Smith of the Lions goes high, catches the ball and brings it down. A maul is formed. The ball is taken back in the maul to Marx at the back of the maul which then surges over the Hurricanes' line/.

The referee blows the "I'm not sure" whistle and consults his assistant referee.

The assistant referee is adamant that it is a try.

The referee suggests the possibility of consulting the TMO.

The assistant referee is even more adamant that a try was scored.

The referee awards the try.

Bless the assistant referee; he saved the game the rectangle in the air, replays and the debate between referee and TMO before the try was awarded.

How could the assistant referee be so sure when the referee was unsure?

It's all a matter of positioning.

The assistant referee was in in-goal facing Marx. He had a clear view of what Marx, the defenders, the ball and in-goal were doing.

The referee was not in in-goal. He was on the side with Marx's upper body between him and the ball. He could thus not see what Marx, the ball and in-goal were doing.

The referee would have seen what his assistant saw if he had been in in-goal with Marx coming to him.
But what about old sole judge asking for help?

The referee is allowed to ask advice on match incidents of a limited number of people, four in fact - the two assistant referees, the TMO and the timekeeper. In this case he consults an assistant.

Law 6.A.7 Referee consulting with others
(a) The referee may consult with assistant referees about matters relating to their duties, the Law relating to foul play or timekeeping and may request assistance related to other aspects of the referee’s duties including the adjudication of offside advert