If Crusaders coach Scott Robertson was confused as to why Melani Nanai wasn't penalised for his high tackle on Richie Mo'unga during the home team's win over the Blues in Christchurch (and he was), it's fair to say a lot of armchair supporters would have been too.
The same might go for World Rugby, who just this month have added clarity to the officiating of high tackles and shoulder charges, and what they regard as potential mitigating factors and suitable penalties.
Thankfully, the game at Christchurch Stadium on Saturday didn't hinge on the call by referee Mike Fraser and his assistants, all of whom apparently acknowledged Blues fullback Nanai made contact with Mo'unga's head as the little first-five attempted to put the ball down in the corner, but only after Nanai's arm had ridden up from the shoulder area.
According to World Rugby's clarifications, (thankfully, for the game) that's no defence – contact with the head is contact with the head, and the act of committing foul play in order to stop a try from being scored is a penalty try and yellow card.
Even a high tackle in which there is no contact with the head – sometimes referred to these days as a "seatbelt tackle" is considered foul play and a penalty offence. Nanai was extremely lucky to not concede seven points and get his marching orders.
The Crusaders, intensely keen to get any sort of win after their unique and difficult week of claim and counter-claim following events in Cape Town, won the match 19-11 to stretch their lead at the top of the Super Rugby table.
But the Blues got within five points after Rieko Ioane scored with nine minutes remaining and had the visitors somehow won – and it would have been a shock given how few scoring opportunities they had had in the preceding 71 minutes – the fallout would have been loud, long and damaging for the game.
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One reader was so incensed at what he had seen he was compelled to write to the Herald: "after that head high was excused against Mo'unga no ref should for the rest of season award a penalty against any high tackle".
Robertson said afterwards: "He [Nanai] touched his head and… they [officials] made the call. Look, I just talked to [Sanzaar referees boss] Lyndon Bray this week and we just actually got all the information through from World Rugby about the head high protocols… they looked at it enough times to probably make the right call at their end – we'll see."
World Rugby's step-by-step framework in applying the law to high tackles and shoulder charges is an attempt to be, in their terms: "consistent, accurate and objective".
It has been brought in after some wildly differing rulings, including that for England first-five Owen Farrell's high tackle on South Africa's Andre Esterhuizen late in the test at Twickenham last November which England won 12-11. Referee Angus Gardner didn't see it as a penalty offence but according to World Rugby's clarification, it was not only a penalty but also a yellow card.
The Herald's angry reader also made mention of the Crusaders being short-changed by television match official Marius Jonker the week before in their 19-all draw against the Stormers in Cape Town. Jonker ruled there was "clear and compelling evidence" of a forward pass in the build-up to Sevu Reece's try which caused it to be overturned. Sanzaar publicly found that actually there wasn't.
It's not stretching it too much to say that coaches' careers can rest on such decisions.
But in the case of the Mo'unga decision, a player's health and safety was at stake. After World Rugby's clarification, Sanzaar needs to make one too because it's plain the officials aren't getting the head high message and that's a real worry.