In a perfect world, rugby would perform its best Nehe Milner-Skudder impersonation and sidestep the refereeing sideshow overshadowing its global showpiece in Japan.
Rugby is an imperfect game, though, and as long as collisions and contact continue to be forensically scrutinised, replayed and slowed to the nth degree, officials threaten to remain centre stage.
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In 18 completed matches, already this World Cup has dished out 10 yellow and three red cards.
Four players — Australia's Reece Hodge, Manu Samoa's Rey Lee-Lo and Motu Matu'u and the United States' John Quill — have copped three-week suspensions while England's Piers Francis was fortunate to escape a similar ban.
It's worth acknowledging the tightrope referees are being asked to walk after World Rugby put all its officials on notice by publicly berating them a mere week into the competition.
Pushed and pulled in every direction as TV match officials stop games at their discretion to shove images and influence down referees' throats, it's no wonder rugby sits on a knife-edge.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen noted the intense pressure World Rugby has seemingly fostered for officials and suggested everyone lay off the refs.
But this saga only appears to be gathering steam.
It's this unfortunate backdrop that sets the scene for the All Blacks and their second World Cup pool match against Canada in Oita tonight.
After ticking the sizeable box that was the Springboks in the All Blacks' opening match, in many ways it's a case of get through Canada with no injuries, take another step forward with their game plan and avoid major sanctions at all costs.
No team wants to lose a player at this early stage.
What can we expect from French referee Romain Poite and his team? Well, Poite has a penchant for cards and a history of claiming the spotlight.
Most recently he courted controversy by opting to penalise Wallabies vice-captain Samu Kerevi for his fend on Welsh playmaker Rhys Patchell in their World Cup pool match.
Kerevi made his frustrations clear after Australia's 29-25 defeat when he said: "The way rugby is going, I might as well join the NRL next, seeing how they police it."
In the deciding act of the 2017 British and Irish Lions series Poite also overturned his own decision and decided not to penalise Welsh hooker Ken Owens, opting for an accidental offside and scrum.
This controversial decision denied the All Blacks a kickable penalty attempt and the near-final chance to snatch the series which, largely because of this call, finished deadlocked.
The reality is the All Blacks should dominate Canada, ranked 22nd in the world, to such a degree that they take Poite out of the game.
By now they should be well aware of the Frenchman's erratic nature and the need to stay on his side of the law. Flirting with high shots or illegal cleanouts is not worth the risk.
But as officials and players collide in this increasingly complicated sport, everyone is on high alert.