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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 November 2006, 12:14 GMT
Noon try was good, says O'Brien
Jamie Noon
Noon was convinced his early score against the All Blacks was good
England centre Jamie Noon should have been credited with his disallowed try against New Zealand, according to referees' boss Paddy O'Brien.

Noon's effort was ruled out as referee Joel Jutge and video ref Christophe Berdos did not see the ball grounded.

O'Brien, the International Rugby Board referees' manager, has said tries should be awarded unless there is a clear reason to disallow them.

"I have no doubt the try was legitimate," said O'Brien.

Noon looked to have crossed just four minutes into the game at Twickenham on Sunday but All Blacks centre Ma'a Nonu claimed to have held the ball up by keeping his arm underneath it.

We are not going to hang Joel out to dry

IRB referees' boss Paddy O'Brien

Frenchman Jutge referred the decision but apparently asked compatriot Berdos whether he could see the ball grounded - which he could not from any of the television angles available.

"I'm not going to defend the indefensible," added O'Brien.

"When Joel referred the incident to the television match official the wrong questions were asked.

"Had I been refereeing the game without the option of going 'upstairs', my instinct would unquestionably have been to award the score.

"We are not going to hang Joel out to dry because he did actually referee well.

"It's not a question of giving the attacking side the benefit of the doubt. It's just a matter of getting these things right."

Only last week O'Brien said there would be change in emphasis in use of the video referee.

"From now on you will hear the referee ask: 'Is there any reason why I cannot award this try?'" he said.

Noon's try would have given England a 5-3 lead and afterwards the Newcastle back claimed he was "robbed".

He did get on the scoresheet before half-time but England ran out 20-41 losers, their sixth straight defeat.

It is not the first time England have bemoaned the decisions of a video referee.

Against Ireland at Twickenham this year, head coach Andy Robinson was fuming with the three tries the visitors scored in their 28-24 victory.



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