Imagine Rugby Blogs

Using technology for the good of the game

Video referees have been a great introduction for rugby

Posted Sep 30, 2010 by John Casson

We have seen big decisions, in big matches – including the World Cup final – being made by one person, a person who makes all the difference to the results of each and every rugby match.
Yep, the video referee or television match official. Since the introduction of this role to rugby, the sport has seen some dramatic moments that have only added to the tension of the game.
Every time the referee sends a decision ‘upstairs’ the players, the coaches, the fans and the press await the video ref’s decision with bated breath. Despite the short break in play, no one cares as they know the right decision will then be made and this in turn makes the game a fairer one for all involved.
I believe this is an area where rugby excels and shows sports such as football up. There is a reluctance in the round ball game to use goal-line technology despite calls from players, managers and fans for it’s introduction.
Yet in rugby, it is widely accepted. It has been proved how beneficial it is. Remember the last World Cup final, the Lions v South Africa series in 2009 and the Heineken Cup final of 2004? Who made key decisions in these games from ruling out ‘tries’, awarding tries and spotting moments of foul play? Yep, that’s right, the video ref.
Rugby really is setting a fantastic example by using technology in its favour. I like that the governing body recognised they could improve an area of the game and went ahead with improving it.
Far from the cries of it being a disruptive procedure, this use of video technology is stamping out bad decisions and foul play and making the game of rugby a far more fair sport.
This in turn will then encourage fair play between the players as they know they can’t get away with anything whereas in football, players continue to cheat and feign injury at every opportunity to enhance their chances of winning.
Once again, we must give a massive pat on the back to rugby for being brave enough and intelligent enough and implementing the use of a television match official.

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