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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Leave it to the ref

"The technology's there. We must use it." The football pundits who trot out that line week in week out probably haven't been watching the Six Nations Rugby. If they had they'd know that the technology doesn't make the decisions any more likely to be right. It does however ensure that the difficult ones are passed around like fizzing cartoon bombs. We had Jonny Wilkinson's "try" against the Scots. Everybody knew he had a foot in touch. Everybody apart from the TMO in the van. Then last week's game between Wales and Italy was truncated by the TMO calling time. Now we've had France's last minute try which was decided only after the ref asked the TMO "it looks alright to me, can you see anything wrong with it?" Sport used to be run on the basis that you picked an honest official and allowed him to be the sole judge of fact. Having extra pairs of eyes examining and re-examining the action doesn't mean things are going to be any more correct or fair. And can you begin to imagine what it would be like if it was deciding whether somebody stayed in the Premiership or not? We'd have lawyers on the bench within weeks.