Referees boss admits error on disallowed Damian McKenzie try

Referees boss admits error on disallowed Damian McKenzie try

New Zealand Rugby Referee boss Bryce Lawrence has admitted that Damian McKenzie's disallowed try on Sunday should have stood.

McKenzie's try in the 65th minute was called back after TMO Brendon Pickerill found that Chiefs first-five Kaleb Trask was offside in the lead up after a messy passage of play that saw reserve Chiefs' hooker Samisoni Taukeiaho spill the ball backwards with Sam Cane kicking the ball forwards with the ball coming off of Trask hitting Trask - who was in front of Cane.

Lawrence explained to NewsHub that the TMO is only able to go back as far as two rucks or two phases which the Chiefs' had exceed before McKenzie scored.

He went on to say that even if there had been an infringement in the buildup, ultimately making the no-try call the “right decision”.

"I think everybody who understands rugby realises it was the right outcome, but you're only allowed to go back as far as two rucks or two phases,” Lawrence said.

“In that instance, we had three very quick rucks before Damian [McKenzie] scored.


"In all honesty, we'll be having a good discussion around that because my preference would be that we stick within the protocol, and the protocol is two phases."


The no-try call for the Chiefs proved to be a pivotal moment in the game.


The Chiefs were ahead 31-19 at the time with the try and pretty straight forward conversion would have given the Chiefs a 38-19 lead.


However, tries from Jona Nareki and Sio Tomkinson, both of which converted by Mitchell Hunt, saw the Highlanders once again fightback to secure a 31-33 victory over Warren Gatland's men.


The Chiefs head to Auckland next to take on the Blues while the Highlanders enjoy their second bye of the competition before they face the Blues in a fortnight. 


After the weekend's action, the Crusaders lead the competition with 18 league points with the Blues trailing with 13 league points. The winless Chiefs hold up the table with the Highlanders 6 points clear in fourth place with 10 points.


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