It flew under the radar in the immediate aftermath of another epic domestic derby, but the Brumbies were robbed the chance of hosting another Super Rugby AU final on Saturday.
With the Brumbies trailing by two points and metres away from the Reds’ line with the full-time siren about to sound, the ball spat loose from the ruck and it helped the home side clear their own line and, ultimately, prevail.
But how did the ball come out?
As replays showed, Liam Wright clearly had his hands in the ruck and should have been sent to the sin bin as the ball spat free. Twice he attempted to knock the ball loose and the second time, with Brumbies halfback Ryan Lonergan ready to clear it, he achieved his desired result.
The effort was straight from the Richie McCaw playbook.
Experienced referee Nic Berry — one of the best in the business — had his arm out. Then, inexplicably, he called players to play on.
Had the Brumbies been awarded a penalty, sharpshooter Lonergan would have had the chance to bang over a matchwinning penalty — a feat he previously achieved from the touchline against the Rebels earlier in the season — or they could have resorted to their unstoppable rolling-maul they had previously scored from earlier in the night.
Only a week earlier, Graham Cooper allowed the TMO to interject and roll back through countless phases at the death with the Waratahs requiring a converted try against the Brumbies to send the match into Super Time.
The decision proved to be the correct, as flanker Tom Cusack was shown his second yellow card.
And had Will Harrison converted from the sideline it could have proved a decisive moment.
Yet, a week later, with a home final on the line, Berry chose not to. Talk about inconsistencies.
The Reds might have been denied a controversial try earlier in the second half as Bryce Hegarty was deemed to propel the ball forward in the process of making a tackle, but crucially the decision was sent to the TMO.
Former Brumbies back-rower Lachlan McCaffrey was one of the many who commented on the refereeing blunder.
“Liam Wright’s hand 1 – Nic Berry 0,” he tweeted.
Following the match Brumbies coach Dan McKellar didn’t comment on the incident, but reflected on the missed chances in the second half.
“Some big moments in the second half where we needed to be better. When you’re up by nine points at half-time you’ve got to kick on from it,” he said.
By finishing first, the Reds will host the final while the Brumbies will play a preliminary final against third place.