We go through four standout moments from the man in the TV truck
Huge TMO calls by Marius Jonker in first Lions Test
The first match of the series is in the books and the British & Irish Lions beat the Springboks in the first Test. But at 22-17 it was tight stuff and in the middle of it all was one South African figure: the TMO, Marius Jonker.
The role of the Television Match Official (TMO) is to review footage of either potential try-scoring moments or possible acts of foul play, to aid the on-field match officials to make a decision. But while New Zealander Brendon Pickerill was due to be TMO for the first Test, travel chaos meant South Africa’s Jonker had to step into the breach.
Before the Test, there were plenty of noises about whether such a figure could be impartial.
In the end, Jonker had to play a role in some massive moments in the first Test and here, we list four of his interventions.
47 mins – Le Roux, no try
With turnover ball taken by Damian de Allende he pushes the ball to his left to Lukhanyo Am. Was it forward? No matter, the centre drives on and kicks ahead for full-back Willie le Roux to chase it down and score what he believes is a try…
Only for Jonker to review the play and decide that the 15 was marginally in front of the kicker. No try, according to the TMO.
50 mins – De Klerk, try
The scrum-half Faf de Klerk got the Boks back on the board soon enough.
With a loose pass evading everyone, Pieter-Steph du Toit picks it up and breaks. Moving it on to Makazole Mapimpi, the wing kicks it on only for it to look like du Toit hacks it on towards the line. With a bobbling ball, Mapimpi gets it back but is held up over the line – he somehow moves it on to de Klerk who falls over the line to score.
But, did it touch du Toit’s hand as it bounced forward? The TMO says no and the try is awarded.
64 mins – Watson tackle, no card
This will be the big talking point. Should Hamish Watson have been carded for picking up le roux in defence and going beyond the horizontal in the tackle?
Jonker and his crew decided that this incident was a penalty only, no yellow, no red.
72 mins – De Allende, no try
It looked like de Allende had scored one for the Boks. with loose Lions passing, the Boks defence roars up again. There’s another Am tackle, another Mapimpi kick and the centre outruns Elliot Daly to touch down.
But wait. It comes back fro a Cheslin Kolbe knock-on. In real time it looked like he had forced an error in the air from Liam Williams, but instead it is the Boks wing who knocks it forward. No score.
What did you make of these moments?
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