United Rugby Championship: Organisers admit TMO failing, says Scarlets boss Peel

Joe Roberts tackling
Scarlets centre Joe Roberts (R) underwent a head injury assessment against Stormers

Scarlets boss Dwayne Peel says United Rugby Championship (URC) officials have accepted a suspected dangerous tackle during Saturday's match at Stormers should have been reviewed at the time.

Match officials were unable to view the incident at the time, leaving Peel furious that Ben Loader's tackle on centre Joe Roberts was not looked at.

"The feedback is that it should have been looked at," said Peel.

"So that's where we're at with it really."

Television match official Mike Adamson could be heard telling referee Sam Grove-White he did "not have the camera angles" to review the incident in the URC game.

The match was being staged at the Stormers' second home of Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch, away from their usual Cape Town base.

Roberts was forced to leave in the sixth minute of the match - scoreless at the time - for a head injury assessment, during which time Stormers crossed for two tries.

Peel added: "At the time we felt strongly that it should have been looked at.

"Whether it would have changed the course of the game, I'm not sure, but it was early in the game and it's player welfare, and we've been on the other side of it when we've had incidents and been reprimanded there, so obviously that's the frustration.

"But look it's been and gone, it's been dealt with, so hopefully next time, or touch wood that that doesn't happen again, but if it does happen then it'll be dealt with appropriately."

Heavy defeats

Peel was left to pick through a brutal seven days in South Africa that brought two emphatic losses.

A record 63-21 defeat by Bulls in Pretoria was followed by a 52-7 loss to Stormers in the Western Cape. That was 114 points and 18 tries conceded in just two games.

Peel hopes the experience can stand his squad in good stead for the rest of the season.

"We knew it was going to be a tough start to the season in South Africa, but a few of the boys have had their eyes opened," he said in the wake of the defeat by Stormers.

"It's a first tour here for many of these young lads and they now understand the level of physicality and application required at the top level. It has to become an obsession.

"We have to use these two weeks as motivation to get better. It's not about taking positives because they were two heavy losses. It's about the learning.

"I've also learned a lot about this squad and about where players are in their development."

The scale of the defeats will now increase the pressure on Peel and his team to get a victory in their first Welsh derby of the season, against Cardiff at Parc y Scarlets this Saturday, 4 November.

However, the former British and Irish Lions scrum-half said the fixture clash with Wales' game against Barbarians at the Principality Stadium on the same day was "far from ideal".

Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) interim chief Nigel Walker has since admitted it was a mistake to allow a regional derby to be played on the same date as the exhibition match.

Cardiff and Scarlets will provide 10 of Warren Gatland's 23-strong match-day squad, including three of Scarlets' best performers in South Africa in Taine Plumtree, Tom Rogers and Kieran Hardy.

"It's not great for anyone. Commercially it's not ideal because how many fans are going to come from Cardiff for what normally would be a big crowd?" said Peel.

"From the rugby side, it's a shame because the derbies are the games the boys love to play in but now we have another week without more players."

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