Poor old Marius Jonker. TMO in the drawn match between the Crusaders and the Stormers, he had an attack of Reverse Wayne Barnes Syndrome – a condition where you see a forward pass where none exists.
The pity of it was that it stole the game from the Crusaders; Braydon Ennor's pass clearly going backwards out of the hands, and Sevu Reece manufacturing a kick-and-chase try moments later.
So it would be highly satisfying to mount a campaign called Get Rid Of Plonkers Like Jonkers – were it not for the fact that he is the living, breathing embodiment of why Sanzaar needs not only neutral referees but neutral TMOs too.
Jonker has form on both sides of the TMO spectrum. In 2016, the Super Rugby match between the Brumbies and Stormers (them again) saw Stormers wing Dillyn Leyds spill the ball in the tackle when scoring. It was clearly not a try - an honest Leyds rose shaking his head as his team congratulated him.
Players always know but, after countless replays, TMO Jonker ruled a try. In a column at the time, I said: "It was a ludicrous, cringe worthy decision that should have shamed him as Leyds grinned and mugged at his teammates. What a farce."
The previous week, as TMO, Jonker had awarded a penalty try to the Sharks after Stormers and Springbok flanker Siya Kolisi jammed his foot between ball and ground as Sharks halfback Cobus Reinach tried to score. Jonker ruled a penalty try and somehow called Kolisi's foot foul play (even though he didn't try to kick the ball), earning the flanker a yellow card. Former referee Jonathan Kaplan, for some time the best in the world, publicly disagreed with Jonker's call.
However, we in New Zealand cannot be too mean to Marius. He was the TMO who made the call that charging England lock Courtney Lawes was offside after flanker Sam Underhill scored a try which looked to have beaten the All Blacks at Twickenham last November. He was a neutral then – and his call was both brave and correct.
Sanzaar's excuse for not using neutrals is expense and that there are not enough referees of equal quality spread throughout the five Super Rugby countries. Yes, but what's worse – financial pressure or farce?
South Africa has an unfortunate history as regards their referees on home soil. Fans of a certain age will recall the 1970 and 1976 All Black tours; the latter will remain forever coloured by Gert Bezuidenhout's infamous decision not to award a penalty try to the All Blacks which would have won the fourth test and squared the series.
In those days, the home referees were not just controlling a game of rugby; they were key cogs in the wheel of apartheid in which the all-white Springboks of those times had to roll over the mixed race All Blacks to justify that regime.
We can't aim that arrow at Jonker even though South African rugby fans have lost little of their passionate zeal. We can, however, demonstrate that neutrality is key to achieving what TMOs are supposed to be there for: use of technology to obtain the right result.
In 2014, the Queensland University of Technology released a study of Super Rugby and the European Super League. They found that when two teams from the same country played under a neutral referee or one from the same country, the home team won 57 per cent of matches.
Home teams won only 50 per cent of the time if the referee was from the same country as the visiting team. But if the referee was of the same nationality as the home team, the hosts won 71 per cent.
RugbyPass this week produced stats showing international teams have lost the penalty count 96-47 this year when playing in South Africa against the Bulls, Lions, Stormers, and Sharks with a South African referee. When those same sides played at home with a non-South African referee against international teams, the count was more even, 72-66.
That means non-South African teams were penalised about 33 per cent more with a South African referee, while the home teams were penalised about 29 per cent less; a significant advantage.
RugbyPass also maintained that when former Stormers player-turned-ref Egon Seconds refereed in those fixtures, the penalty count was a "staggering" 31-3 in favour of South African teams. In March, the Rebels queried being on the wrong end of a record 20-1 penalty count from Seconds when they played the Lions.
It's not just the South Africans; when former Australian Sevens and former Queensland Reds player Damon Murphy refereed the Reds against the Sunwolves in Tokyo this season, the visitors ended up with a 11-4 penalty advantage. Murphy's brother had previously played for the Reds; the referee made one non-Super Rugby appearance for the club.
For my money, local referees controlling matches in their homeland are not biased; they do not deliberately call a game to get the result desired by the hometown fans and rugby establishment. Nor do TMOs.
But they are still subject to, and victims of, hometown pressure which may affect judgement. Time for a change.