Television match official Paul Williams is set for a brutal review this week after three poor decisions cast a controversial shadow over this weekend's two Super Rugby Aotearoa derbies.
Rieko Ioane's denied try – for an apparent forward pass – was Williams' latest mistake in the Blues' 39-17 bonus point victory over the Highlanders at Eden Park on Sunday.
After making a bust down the blindside, Akira Ioane believed he threw the perfect long pass off his left hand to send younger brother Rieko away for a try during the first half.
Williams had other ideas, ruling the pass went forward.
"You can't change that call but it was a helluva seed I must admit," Akira Ioane said. "I wouldn't want to be a touchie or TMO trying to call that. I made Rieks look good. If it worked out it would've been good but it didn't so we quickly flushed that and moved on."
Blues coach Leon MacDonald had little doubt Ioane's try should have been awarded, with the pass clearly travelling backwards out of his hands.
"It's tough isn't it? For me Aki was able to stay in front of the ball, it looked pretty good out of the hands. These inconsistencies are what's frustrating," MacDonald said.
"When you're running full speed like Aki was and you let rip, the ball is always going to travel forward. That's just physics. I did listen a little bit at school, so the start and finish point are not the way to look at it.
"It's up for debate isn't it? It will be talked about over the pub stools tonight I'm assuming, and it will be something the refs will be talking about as well.
"It didn't cost us, but you want to be getting those right. We were able to bounce back on a few calls and a few mistakes and that's testament that we're showing some really good growth around our leadership."
Ioane's non-try decision followed two wrong calls in the Crusaders' 39-17 victory over the Chiefs in Christchurch on Saturday night.
Leicester Fainga'anuku's spectacular full-length diving effort in the corner should not have been awarded after his foot touched the ground out of the field of play – the Crusaders wing admitting as much post-match when he referenced the favourable colour of his boots.
The second error from Williams was even more costly for the Chiefs. Down by one point at the time, officials awarded a penalty try and sent Chiefs co-captain Brad Weber to the bin when Richie Mo'unga's pass should have been ruled forward after Weber touched his arm, not the ball, in his attempted tackle.
In both the Fainga'anuku and Weber instances Williams, and the other officials, failed to use all available replays from Sky television and, therefore, both decisions were wrong.
If technology is going to be used, surely all footage must be reviewed in order to make the best judgement. Waiting another minute to get the correct decision is preferable to a rushed job that delivers controversial outcomes.
"The TMO is always going to be contentious," MacDonald said. "You can always find something somewhere if you go looking.
"As a referee how far do you keep looking and how much do you stay out of the game? We all love a game where the referees don't feature and yet the TMO is another layer of refereeing. We want the right calls, but we don't want to pay the price which is a lot of stoppages."
Despite Dalton Papalii taking a head knock against the Highlanders, MacDonald expects to have a full fit squad to select from for the top of the table clash against the Crusaders at Eden Park next Sunday.
"We're excited to play them at home and hopefully we get a better lead-up with being able to sell tickets and get a big crowd here."
While the Highlanders were well outplayed by the Blues, coach Tony Brown confirmed the southerners will get former All Blacks flanker Liam Squire, towering lock Pari Pari Parkinson and prop Ayden Johnstone back after the bye to significantly bolster their pack.
Brown could not tip a winner between the Blues and Crusaders.
"Different teams," Brown said. "If the Blues can use their power, be very good at set piece and then they can slow the Crusaders down. It's whether they can handle the speed of the Crusaders."