‘I thought it was a success’ – Monye ‘100%’ behind bunker system

Ugo Monye, a former England international who is now a pundit for TNT Sports, has voiced support for the bunker system being implemented in Gallagher Premiership Rugby. Before it was used in the Rugby World Cup in France, the bunker was tested in a few international matches. Although it seems to divide opinions, Monye claims he is a fan since it relieves referee stress and lets the action flow more naturally.


Referee Wayne Barnes shows a yellow card to Sam Cane of New Zealand during the Rugby World Cup Final

On October 28, 2023, New Zealand and South Africa will play at Stade de France.

Despite the fact that the idea of implementing the bunker system to Gallagher Premiership Rugby seems to split minds during the Rugby World Cup, Ugo Monye insists that he would support it “100%”.
The bunker was constructed in advance of the rugby world cup in France in order to reduce referee fatigue and improve their ability to call foul play.

The Television Match Official (TMO) bunker allows officials to evaluate any foul play while play is still in progress without being hindered by spectators.

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Its use drew criticism from some quarters over a perceived inconsistency in sanctioning, but Monye believes it felt that it was a positive move and that it should be introduced to England’s domestic top division.
When asked if he would welcome the bunker in the Premiership, Monye responded, “Yes, 100%.” “I felt that it performed incredibly well during the World Cup.”We didn’t have replay after replay up on the screen, so everything happened quickly. It came down to who could concentrate on the rugby and who could make the correct choices.Because it relieves the referees of some of the strain associated with officiating a game, the person making the decision may sit back and thoroughly consider all the available information.
“I liked it, I thought it was a success.”
The World Cup final featured three yellow cards and a red card for New Zealand captain Sam Cane.
Cane was shown a yellow pending review by referee Wayne Barnes for his high tackle on Jesse Kriel in the 27th-minute before it was upgraded to red, making him the first player in history to be sent off in a World Cup final.
In the second-half, Cane’s opposite number, South Africa captain Siya Kolisi, was also yellow-carded for a similar incident but escaped further punishment from those in the bunker.
It was one of several choices made by officials during the competition that caused controversy among commentators and spectators, since it seemed that they were being scrutinized more than before.
Monye, who believes that this kind of forensic analysis of officials is unjust, cited football’s problems with video assistant referees as proof that the game is doing well.
He went on, “You can’t talk about officiating and TMO without comparing it to other sports, like football and VAR.” We ought to be light years ahead in comparison since we have ingrained our TMO and refereeing processes over an extended period of time.
“And so all of these things are relative, aren’t they?
“Of course there’s scrutiny over things because people are passionate and they want everything to be gotten right. Comparatively, I think we should be reasonably pleased with where we are at as a game.
“Communication, we get to hear the conversation between referees and TMOs. I don’t think it takes lengthy periods to get the right decisions. We saw the introduction of the bunker so things happen more speedily, so we got to focus on the game. And the majority of the time we got the right answer.
“All I would say is that the conversation around officials and refs is out of kilter with the conversation we have around players and coaches, because we accept that players make mistakes, whilst not accepting that referees make mistakes.
“I think we need to just get greater balance over that. And whilst, you know, once it goes through TMO review, we have more time, therefore we expect less mistakes, we’re still dealing with humans and humans have error. So we should just accept it so long as it’s not frequent, and hopefully not game defining.”
The big criticism is that players are being punished severely for unintentional acts, like Cane’s in Paris, but Monye offered up a potential solution that could see less red cards brandished and more games finish as 15-on-15.
“Perhaps a 20-minute orange or yellow card would be the one conversation and one law change I would make.” As we enter the sixth round of the Gallagher Premiership, one player has already been sent off. Not even for a high tackle, either.Given how heated games may be, we’re not witnessing any of the typical foul play—punching, kicking, stamping, or striking—that you might expect. We’re witnessing what I would term technical infractions or errors in tackling, particularly in the areas of heavy contact and head contact.I would like to know if it is appropriate to red card a player who may miss more than 40 minutes of the game, or if we should instead give them a 20-minute yellow card.
“Then we might sanction them bit more harshly away from the pitch so we still get the contest but we’re also underpinning the idea that player safety and welfare, as well as head impact, are things we take very seriously, and that these things will always come first in the game.
“That would be a recommendation, or at the very least a recommendation for a discussion that ought to be had regarding rugby.”
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