It was a case of human error
The International Rugby Board has confirmed that French referee Romain Point made a blunder in issuing the controversial yellow card to South African hooker Bismarck du Plessis.
This follows the All Blacks' 29-15 win over the Springboks in a crucial Rugby Championship match at the weekend.
In a statement Monday the IRB said the yellow card awarded against Du Plessis for a tackle on All Black flyhalf Dan Carter in the 17th minute of the match was "incorrect."
Du Plessis received a second yellow card for foul play in the 42nd minute of the match, which meant he was automatically sent off.
The IRB said the yellow card decision "was an unfortunate case of human error by the match officials."
IRB statement in full: "Following an initial review, the IRB confirms that it was incorrect for referee Romain Poite to issue a yellow card to Bismarck du Plessis in the 17th minute of The Rugby Championship match between New Zealand and South Africa in Auckland on Saturday.
"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.
"All match official performances are thoroughly reviewed and assessed by the IRB and are considered when appointments are made for future test matches."