World Rugby ‘admit’ they shouldn’t have disallowed Aaron Smith try in World Cup final


World Rugby have acknowledged in private to the All Blacks that Aaron Smith’s try against South Africa in the Rugby World Cup should not have been ruled out, according to a report by Stuff.

Smith’s disallowed try occurred in the 54th minute of New Zealand’s 12-11 defeat to the Springboks at the Stade de France in Paris, following a break by playmaker Richie Mo’unga.

But play was called back when TMO Tom Foley spotted a knock-on at a lineout, and referee Wayne Barnes then disallowed the try.

The knock-on occurred four phases before the try was scored but the law states that the TMO is only allowed to go back two phases for a knock-on in the build-up to a try.

World Rugby updated this TMO protocol in the middle of 2022, issuing a release and stating that TMO referrals were possible for “all clear and obvious knock-on or throw-forward infringements within two phases leading to a possible try.”

Whether or not the try would have resulted in New Zealand being crowned champions for a fourth time instead of South Africa will never be known but no doubt All Blacks fans will feel aggrieved.

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