Compared with football, rugby union does not have a history of outrageous refereeing errors. What, for example, is the equivalent of Charles Corver not penalizing Toni Schumacher's assault on Patrick Battiston or the Russian (Azeri, actually) linesman awarding Geoff Hurst's goal in 1966?
Take a bow Chris White, whose ridiculous refereeing at the end of Italy's 23-20 win over Wales on Saturday certainly robbed Wales of a chance to level and probably consigns Gareth Jenkins's side to the wooden spoon.
With ten seconds left, Italy were penalized. Told he could take a line-out, James Hook, Wales' outstanding centre and goal-kicker, found touch and Wales' pack moved forward for one last drive, only for White, ludicrously and to the outrage of Gareth Thomas, consulted the video referee before blowing for full time.
There can be few more blatant examples of incompetence than an official saying one thing to the players before changing his mind. If there was no time for a line-out, Hook would surely have taken three points and Wales would have saved a draw.
It does not excuse White's error, but the rule surely needs clarifying. It is not the first time under Jenkins' stewardship that Wales have been robbed of a chance of a vital late score due to bad time-keeping; exactly the same happened in the draw against Australia in the 2006 Autumn International. How much less scope for confusion would there be if the IRB simply rule that any penalty awarded before 80'00" can be kicked for touch, even if the line-out happens after the clock has 'turned red'.