The IRB said the first yellow card given to Springbok Bismarck du Plessis in the 17th minute of the match against the All Blacks was "incorrect".
The International Rugby Board (IRB) has found fault with French referee Romaine Poite's decision of to award the first of two yellow cards against the Springboks hooker for a tackle on New Zealand flyhalf Dan Carter during Saturday's Rugby Championship test against New Zealand.
Du Plessis received a second yellow card for foul play in the 42nd minute of the match which meant he was automatically sent off.
New Zealand went on to win 29-15 as South Africa played most of the second half with 14 men. The IRB said the yellow card decision "was an unfortunate case of human error by the match officials".
Blood was spilled and both teams had players sent from the field on Sunday, yet New Zealand's 29-15 victory over South Africa was based around a simple principle – fight fire with fire, then smoke them on the outside.
The All Blacks win at Eden Park was blighted by a controversial red card to Du Plessis after he had been given two yellow cards.
The second yellow card, for an elbow into the throat of Liam Messam was considered to be deserved, and Du Plessis should have known he was treading a thin line after his earlier time in the sinbin, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said on Sunday.
Du Plessis' all-out aggressive attitude typified the nature of the game. No quarter was asked, or given, and both sides flung themselves into their opponents with zealous intensity. It was an area the Springboks, because of their size, physicality and the relative inexperience of All Blacks openside flanker Sam Cane and hooker Dane Coles, were thought to hold an advantage. – Sapa-AP, Reuters