Former international referee Jonathan Kaplan has said that Richie McCaw’s match-winning try against the Springboks in Johannesburg was in fact not a try and should not have been awarded.
McCaw’s 73rd minute try put an end to the Springboks’ championship hopes and set up a winner-takes-all decider in Sydney next weekend as the All Blacks look to defend their title for a fourth successive time.
McCaw capitalised on a short throw in from substitute hooker Codie Taylor with the New Zealand skipper running onto the ball from the scrum-half position before crashing over from close range.
Kaplan shared his thoughts on the try via South African website ratetheref.co.za, and said that McCaw’s try was highly suspect and that referee Jerome Garces should have at least referred it to the TMO.
“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 also said that Springbok captain Schalk Burger could have put more pressure on referee Garces to defer to the TMO, considering the point of the game in which the try was awarded.
“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.”
Jack O’Toole, Pundit Arena