Kiwis believe Smith’s WB try was valid


More than two weeks after the Springboks held up the Webb Ellis trophy at the Stade de France, quite a few New Zealanders are still grumbling about the final result.

The South African rugby team concluded a titanic final with 12-11 to walk away with the laurels for the fourth time in the tournament’s history.

Now it is being reported from New Zealand that Aaron Smith’s try in the 54th minute of the showdown was actually valid.

The experienced scrumhalf – who played in his last game for the All Blacks – sailed over the Springbok goal line after Richie Mo’unga’s good run, but TV referee Tom Foley’s keen eyes spotted a tackle in the run-up to the try.

He notified referee Wayne Barnes and a short time later it was decided that Smith’s three-point attempt did not count.

According to Stuff World Rugby – as it were in the privacy of its inner room – apparently conceded that it was the wrong decision.

The attack apparently took place four phases before Smith’s graceful tackle; according to World Rugby protocol, a television official only has authority to look for a foul two phases before the final three.

It is true that Beauden Barrett scored the only try of the game a short while later, but Mo’unga then missed his set-piece attempt.

Kiwi coach Ian Foster said after the final whistle that there was a lot of pressure on the referee.

“I don’t agree with every one of Wayne’s (Barnes) decisions, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is a top referee and person.”

Sir Steve Hansen has also previously expressed his displeasure with the interference of television referees.

“I believe that the TV official should only be heard when the referee asks him if he can award a try or not. These days we have stop/start games and the fans must be tired of that,” said the 64-year-old coach.