Blues coach Tana Umaga will demand answers as to why Crusaders prop Owen Franks didn't receive a sanction for a head-high tackle on hooker James Parsons during his side's defeat at Eden Park tonight.
Franks' shot to the head of Parsons, which forced the Blues player from the field in the first half, was reviewed by referee Glen Jackson, who gave Franks a warning but nothing else.
Parsons, who made a punching action to an assistant referee as he left the field, didn't return to the pitch. Jackson could be heard via his microphone telling Franks that he was lucky too much time had elapsed before the incident was spotted, but Umaga was confused by the decision and the response.
"I'm sure there are protocols around contact with the head – I think that's the simple thing," Umaga said. "First and foremost it's the safety of our players – that's what we're looking for; we had two guys come off. I'm sure there will be questions asked – there should be. We'll see what happens there."
Asked why he thought Jackson took no action on Franks, Umaga said: "No idea. I don't know how they came up with their conclusion. There's no doubt we'll challenge it. We'll ask the reasons why and who is accountable for it."
The Crusaders, who lost Quentin Strange to a yellow card early in the second half for a dangerous lifting tackle on Jerome Kaino, have conceded five yellows in four matches and were extremely lucky not to lose prop Joe Moody to a red card in their narrow win over the Waratahs last week.
Moody was later cited and suspended for two games for his elbow to Kurtley Beale, a sanction which appears to render farcical Jackson's inability to take any action – not even award a penalty – against the foul play by Franks.
Umaga was also angry about an incident involving Blues fullback Matt Duffie and Crusaders replacement wing Manasa Mataele when the pair collided taking a high ball in the first half. Duffie had the ascendancy in the air, and injured himself as he landed, but Jackson ruled Mataele's challenge as fair.
"The same thing; again there are protocols in place for who has advantage. Duff is asking us now, 'well, should I go up for high balls if I'm going to come down like that all the time?'."
Scott Robertson's men saw Ryan Crotty and Scott Barrett sinbinned in the second half of their victory over the Brumbies in Canberra, and a week later in Melbourne David Havili and Matt Todd were sinbinned against the Rebels.
Robertson said he wasn't aware of Jackson's ruling which effectively saved Franks, saying: "I couldn't quite get it myself so I'm sorry I can't comment on that."
But he added: "We've covered sanctions quite a lot with our players just to make sure they're really clear… we've got to be clean, we're not a dirty side. Most sides push those boundaries. We've got a few yellows and it's not good enough really. It puts a lot of pressure on the team."