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Eden Park is clearly not a happy place for Ro­main Poite. Af­ter his shocker in 2013, he was back in Auck­land to ref­eree the third and de­cid­ing test be­tween the Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions and the All Blacks.

He’d had an okay game un­til the last minute. With the scores tied at 15-all, Lions hooker Ken Owens got him­self in a mud­dle at kick-o , catch­ing the ball in an o side po­si­tion.

Poite took his time and then made the cor­rect call – he awarded the All Blacks the penalty. But Lions cap­tain Sam War­bur­ton asked the French o cial if he was sure and sug­gested he check with the TMO.

The an­swer to that should have been no as it wasn’t foul play or an ad­ju­di­ca­tion on whether a try had been scored.

Still, Poite asked the ques­tion of his TMO Ge­orge Ay­oub who con­firmed the call was good – penalty All Blacks and it was kick­able.

But for some in­ex­pli­ca­ble rea­son Poite was talked out of it by his as­sis­tant ref­eree Jérôme Gar­cès and the fi­nal de­ci­sion was to award a scrum.

It was one of the worst de­ci­sions in the history of ref­eree howlers. The game and se­ries were drawn and the world to­tally per­plexed.

“We all know what hap­pened and we all know prob­a­bly what should have hap­pened,” said a re­strained All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

“But it’s a game and as lit­tle kids we’re taught to take the good with the bad, and we have to do that.

“You go back to the World Cup and the same thing hap­pened and Scot­land missed out [against Aus­tralia] be­cause they didn’t use the video. This time they used video and had a pow-wow. What would have been good was just play on and if we would have scored un­der the posts that would have been okay.

“But we didn’t. His ini­tial in­stincts were it was a penalty, he spoke to his team of three, and one of them sug­gested it was ac­ci­den­tal.

“It’s ei­ther o side or isn’t o side, and if we all know it’s o side then it’s o side. But there are too many av­enues you can go down. That’s not the ref’s fault, it’s the rule­book and peo­ple run­ning the game need to ask them­selves, do we need to make it sim­ple? My an­swer to that would be yes.”

RED MIST Ro­main Poite looked like he had no idea what was go­ing on in the last minute of the third Lions test in 2017.

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