Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths labels the TMO system a 'shambles' in light of Saracens' 24-20 defeat by Northampton Saints in the Premiership final on Saturday

Northampton Saints celebrate their first Premiership title at Saracens' expense. Picture: Action Images

Northampton Saints celebrate their first Premiership title at Saracens' expense. Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport
Last updated

Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths has labelled the Television Match Official (TMO) system a 'shambles' following Sarries' 24-20 defeat by Northampton Saints in the Premiership final on Saturday.

The Men in Black fell afoul of the TMO on no fewer than four occasions as Northampton stole the Premiership title from under their noses in the dying seconds at Twickenham.

Leading 20-17, Saracens were pegged back on their own try-line as Saints pushed for the score which would win them their first Premiership title.

Alex Waller was eventually deemed to have made contact with the line but only after several minutes' wait as TMO Graham Hughes took advantage of all possible - and largely inconclusive - angles to award a controversial winner in Saints' favour.

"Most teams in the Premiership would say the protocol has become a shambles, it's almost make it up as you go along," Griffiths told BT Sport.

"Some referees use the TMO as a kind of video operator, 'show me that again please', others take instruction, others take guidance.

"This sounds like sour grapes but it isn't, because this would be the case had that final try not been given.

"The TMO process is a shambles," added the Sarries chief.

Saracens had earlier seen 'tries' by Owen Farrell and replacement Jackson Wray disallowed for infringements in the build-up, whilst George Pisi's 58th-minute score was allowed despite a forward pass by Luther Burrell.

Griffiths continued: "It's something Premiership Rugby will have to look at, but the protocol needs to be clarified exactly what is meant to happen.

"The role of the TMO needs to be clarified: it's almost different with different referees and TMOs in different games.

"I'm not going to say it cost us the title, but the protocol, for the good of the game, needs to be clarified."

Added Griffiths: "It's not clear what the TMO says, who says it, when the referee's allowed to ask, when the TMO's allowed to ask, it just looks like a general hotch-potch."

Comments (1)

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12:11pm Fri 6 Jun 14

The King Pin says...

It sounds like sour grapes to me.

This was the third time that Northampton have beaten Saracens this season. Were the other two times the TMO's fault as well?
It sounds like sour grapes to me. This was the third time that Northampton have beaten Saracens this season. Were the other two times the TMO's fault as well? The King Pin
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