WELLINGTON (Reuters) - All Blacks centre Ryan Crotty’s try in the narrow win against South Africa was legitimate, governing body SANZAAR has ruled after a review.
Crotty’s try sparked outrage in South Africa after the 25-24 win in Cape Town on Saturday, with pundits suggesting he had knocked on or failed to ground properly after swooping on a loose ball behind the line.
The try was awarded after long deliberations by the television match official.
SANZAAR referees’ boss Lyndon Bray said the TMO had got it right.
“Crotty was not carrying the ball so there was no loss of control or knock-on at that point,” he told South Africa’s SuperSports media.
“Therefore the next issue to consider is if he propelled the ball forward trying to ground it.
“When he first made contact with ball, the ball was not at first in contact with the ground, and it appears the ball movement was straight down and not forward.
“If it was determined he had insufficient downward pressure it was still not a knock on. Then his momentum meant his upper body forced the ball and under law this is a try.”
The All Blacks’ win was also marred by controversy over the red card handed to South Africa centre Damian de Allende, who was sent off in the dying minutes after a late tackle on flyhalf Lima Sopoaga.
Reviewing the decision, SANZAAR’s disciplinary panel said the tackle should only have warranted a yellow card and De Allende escaped suspension.
The All Blacks successfully defended their Rugby Championship title by sweeping the tournament with six wins.
They play Australia in the final Bledisloe Cup test in Brisbane on Oct. 21 before their season-ending tour of Europe.
Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Greg Stutchbury