The International Rugby Board has confirmed that French referee Romain Poite's decision to give Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis his first yellow card during Saturday's Rugby Championship match in Auckland was incorrect.
Du Plessis received two yellow cards and was sent from the field in the 42nd minute of the 29-15 loss to the All Blacks, the first of which was a highly-controversial call.
Poite judged Du Plessis's tackle on All Black fly-half Dan Carter to be illegal and although the incident was referred to the Television Match Official George Ayoub, he failed to provide the Frenchman with sufficient evidence to sway his opinion. The world governing body has since issued a statement however in which they admitted that it was an incorrect call.
"Just as players and coaches make mistakes, the decision was an unfortunate case of human error by the match officials, who, having reviewed the match, fully recognise and accept that they made a mistake in the application of law," the statement read..
"All match official performances are thoroughly reviewed and assessed by the IRB and are considered when appointments are made for future test matches."
The South African Rugby Union has reportedly laid a complaint with both Sanzar and the IRB about Poite's performance.
Poite was not allowed to comment after the game, as he needs to testify in the disciplinary hearing for Du Plessis.