Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus says his team came unstuck against the Blues as match officials were swayed by the home town crowd.
But Erasmus has stressed the Ben Atiga-kicked penalty which handed the Blues a 17-14 victory in the final minute at Eden Park was a valid call.
Yahoo!Xtra Sport’s Neil Reid writes that Australian referee Paul Marks handed out the match-winner on the stroke of fulltime after ruling the Stormers’ defensive line was off-side.
Erasmus said earlier calls had gone against his side, stating he believed some were a case of match officials favouring the home-town Blues.
“I think sometimes when you are a referee, and you ref in front of big crowds, the fifty-fifty calls go to the big crowds” Erasmus said.
“We accept that. I am saying that because we have six home games to come.
“We accept it, in two weeks time we are playing at home and then maybe we will be lucky with those calls.
“It is tough to lose a game, but the last penalty was a penalty. It was off-side, the guy kicked it over and we lost the game.
“We are not happy, but we accept the result.”
Atiga made up for some earlier costly kicking failures when he lined up the testing kick on full-time.
He was one of several late positional switches following first-five Nick Evans’ withdrawal due to ongoing concerns following last weekend’s concussion.
Atiga said of his match-winner: “I didn’t time was up.
“If I knew time was up I would have put more pressure on myself. I went through the normal procedures and felt quite confident going into that last kick.
“It felt pretty good.”
Blues coach David Nucifora added: “We got it. We know we were lucky.”
Evans’ scratching was announced 90 minutes before kick-off.
But Erasmus said he was adamant that the Blues knew Evans would not be a starter as early as last Monday.
“With those kind of concussions, you are either in or you are out,” he said.
Nucifora disagreed, saying Evans was a confirmed starter right up until Friday.
“We didn’t know Nick wasn’t going to play until the last minute,” Nucifora said.
“He actually passed his physcometric testing and then we put him through a fairly substantial fitness test as well. It was the day after the fitness test that he didn’t pull up as well as we would have liked.
“The medical team weren’t too keen on him playing, so we made the decision then to pull him. We had trained all week with the expectation that he wouldn’t play, but we were hopeful that we would get him across the line.
“But with head knocks, you don’t want to take those sorts of risks.”
The result ruined the Stormers’ bold hopes of going through their four-match Australasian tour unbeaten.
“It was a brave performance, it was gutsy but not good enough” Erasmus said of his side.
BLUES 17 (D Lee try; B Atiga 4 pen),
STORMERS 14 (C Jantjes try; P Grant 3 pen).