Ospreys coach Allen Clarke critical at lack of TMO in derby

Matthew Morgan breaks for Cardiff Blues
Ben Whitehouse took charge of the Pro14 derby at the Liberty Stadium

Ospreys head coach Allen Clarke has criticised the Pro14 after his side's win over Cardiff Blues was partly played without a television match official.

A TMO is meant to be standard at all Pro14 fixtures.

But the TMO at the Liberty Stadium, Ian Davies, was initially unable to communicate with referee Ben Whitehouse or either team's coaches.

At this level, that can't happen," said Clarke.

"For the first five or so minutes, certainly for their try, there was no TMO.

Pro14: Ospreys 20-11 Cardiff Blues

"For all intents and purposes, it looked like a clear interference that wasn't picked up by the officials and there was no TMO at that stage, which is a bit of a discredit to the Pro14.

"I don't want to take away from the victory but in the context of close games, it's an area that needs to be tidied up.

"Our analytical team are excellent, as I'm sure other teams are. They check everything before the game - the comms are coming through from the referee, the comms are coming through from the TMO. But we didn't have any of that until half-time.

"That, for me as a coach and the world I've been in, I'm 51 now so I've been around a while and I can say this with a little bit of substance: it isn't good enough."

The Pro14 has been asked to comment.

It is the responsibility of the Pro14 and its broadcasters to provide the link which allows the TMO to communicate with the referee, which in turn can be heard by both teams' coaches.

But it is unclear what caused the technical issue which meant referee Whitehouse and the Ospreys and Cardiff Blues coaches were unable to hear TMO Davies.

After the Ospreys' 20-11 win, Clarke was asked if he would raise his concerns with Pro14 bosses.

"I speak to Greg Garner [the Pro14's elite referee manager], who is a good man, on a regular basis," Clarke added.

"I need to find out the exact reasoning behind it but that could have been critical.

"I hear coaches talking about bonus points and the likes. That shouldn't be happening."