The game-changing decision to rule a forward pass by the Crusaders against the Stormers was the wrong one by TMO Marius Jonker, Sanzaar have told the New Zealand team.
The highly controversial call by Jonker on Braydon Ennor’s pass to Sevu Reece at Newlands last Saturday has been the subject of much debate on social media.
One camp said you have to look at the hands of Ennor when he made the pass to wing Reece, who chipped ahead and scored what would’ve been a sensational try in the corner, and which would’ve put the Crusaders 24-16 up with five minutes left.
The other group say it is an obvious forward pass, as the ball went from the halfway line to a few metres in front of it.
Jonker was adamant that the pass was illegal, and even told referee Nic Berry “I’m going to show you a forward pass” when he alerted the official to have Reece’s touchdown reviewed.
After a few looks at the footage, Jonker told Berry: “So, we have a forward pass, it’s clear and obvious evidence of a forward pass.”
The Stormers managed to recover and eventually secure a 19-19 draw, but Crusaders coach Scott Robertson told the stuff.co.nz website on Thursday that Jonker had made a mistake.
“It’s a momentum game. Look, they (Sanzaar) just cleared up that the ruling was wrong,” Robertson said.
“We got clarity of the understanding of the rule. If it’s backwards out of the hand, the pass is going backwards. Obviously, momentum is a big part of why it looked forward, but it isn’t forward.
“It would be a pretty tough game of rugby (if you had) to stand still and pass backwards.”
The Sanzaar ruling completed a miserable week in Cape Town for the nine-time champions.
They have launched an investigation into allegations of homophobic slurs being made by wing George Bridge at a McDonald’s in Kloof Street, and flyhalf Richie Mo’unga spilling alcohol and inappropriately touching a woman at the Arcade bar in Bree Street, for which he apologised on Instagram.@ashfakmohamed