James Lawton: More to trying decisions than meets the eye

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The Independent Football

When it was finally possible to take your eyes off the dazzling Welsh performance at Murrayfield, there was another reward. You were able to contemplate a rather amusing irony.

When the Scottish pack eventually invaded the Welsh line there was a strong belief that they might have carried the ball home and touched down. Jonathan Kaplan, the South African referee so savagely criticised for denying England a try in similar circumstances at Lansdowne Road two weeks earlier, referred the matter, plainly indecipherable to the human eye, to technology and a fourth official. After a lengthy wait, while the film was played over and over, the verdict came: no try, or at least no try recognised through the writhing mass of bodies.

Some of the worst of the criticism of Kaplan in Dublin came because he had not sought the advice of the eye in the sky. Now he had and when the verdict came in some thought it just possible to see the ghost of a smile on his face. Moral of the story: life will always retain a few mysteries, not least when it is buried beneath several tons of human flesh.