Bray: SANZAR Refs made wrong calls against Blues

SANZAR referees boss Lyndon Bray has admitted Super Rugby officials made two errors over the past two weeks and in both cases the Blues suffered.

The Lions were awarded a try in last week’s clash against the Blues in Johannesburg when a knock on should have been ruled a Blues defender Charles Piutau did not try to rip the ball out.

Bray says that while Piutau jolted the ball from the Deon van Rensburg of the Lions he did not deliberately try to rip possession from the Lions player.

Bray said that the onus is on the ball carrier to maintain possession so referee Stuart Berry should have called a knock on and not a try.

“We have decided from a SANZAR perspective that it should be ruled as a knock-on,” Bray told ONE Sport.

“The onus of responsibility in this case is on the ball carrier to maintain possession through to the completion of the tackle because the Blues player is generally attempting to tackle the Lions player.

“I think from a rugby perspective that aligns that decision to how the referee may well have awarded that throughout the field of play.”

Blues coach Sir John Kirwan had specifically asked Bray to explain the ruling as he could not understand how Berry came to the conclusion that he did.

The Lions won the match 39-36 so this ruling could well have changed the result of the match.

A week early the Bulls were awarded a try against the Blues and this try should also not have been awarded. Bray said that Marcel van der Merwe of the Bulls had been tackled so he could not move ahead for the try.

“That’s a very good example of where a player quite clearly moves his body in order to be able to place the ball, and so ultimately, yes, that should have been no try,” he said.

In this case the try that was awarded to the Bulls was their fourth try and they earned a bonus point from the try.

The final score was Bulls 38 Blues 22 so the try being awarded would not have affected the result as it was at the end of the match.

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