Davies urges help for officials after try controversy

Wales great Jonathan Davies says rugby authorities should make life easier for referees after the controversial disallowed Scarlets try at Ulster.

Referee Graham Knox ruled out Morgan Stoddart's try in Scarlets' 20-18 defeat on advice from television match official (TMO) Marshall Kilgore.

The TMO saw a Stoddart knock-on in the build-up but rules state he can only advise if the ball is grounded.

"The toughest job in the game at the moment are the officials," said Davies.

Rugby's rules state the TMO can only adjudicate on matters in the 'in-goal area' and not consider any potential infringements in the build-up to a try.

The Scarlets were trailing 13-11 at Ravenhill on Friday when Wales wing Stoddart kicked the ball through a gap in the Ulster defence in the second-half.

Stoddart, though, knocked the ball as he kicked it over the goal line to score in the corner - a violation that referee Knox missed but TMO Kilgore spotted.

And he advised Knox to disallow the touch down, which rules state a TMO is not permitted to do.

And BBC rugby pundit Davies, the former Wales fly-half, wants the referee to have more clarity from the rugby authorities.

"The toughest job in the game at the moment are the officials," said Davies.

"That's the referee, the TMO and the linesmen.

"We've looked at how to change this and how to change that on the field of play, now let's think of these officials.

"I think you go back, maybe to the last phase - the last ruck, the last maul, the line-out or scrummage.

"We've got to make it easier for them so common sense prevails.

"You've got to make it black an white for the officials to give them an easier ride.

"If that happens in the World Cup, the referee wouldn't get out of New Zealand."

There was also controversy during Wales' 19-13 Six Nations win over Ireland when Mike Phillips' try was allowed even though a different ball was used in a quickly-taken line-out, which is against rugby's Law 19.2.

When referee Jonathan Kaplan asked his Scottish touch judge Peter Allan 'Is it the correct ball?' however, Allan answered in the affirmative and Kaplan awarded the try, much to the anger of the Irish side.