AS the world of football is discovering, the input of a video assistant referee does not always guarantee a black or white answer.
Grey areas persist, even in a sport like rugby union, which has used technical assistance to aid its officials for years.
A tense Six Nations encounter between old rivals England and Wales at Twickenham on Saturday tea-time was a case in point.
When Wales full-back Gareth Anscombe hacked on and dropped on the ball at the same time as England wing Anthony Watson, referee Jerome Garces of France instantly motioned for advice from TMO Glenn Newman on what decision to make.
As the seconds ticked on and the giant scoreboards replayed the incident, English and Welsh fans cheered mored in hope than expectation.
Anscombe appeared to exert downward pressure on the ball with an outstretched hand, but Newman disagreed, and Gatland believed the decision may have cost Wales victory, coming as it did just minutes after England had taken a 12-0 lead.
At this level it is pretty disappointing. Not to be given what we thought was a legitimate try was a massive moment.Warren Gatland
“It looked like a try to me,” said Gatland. “It is disappointing that you get that decision wrong.
“It is a pivotal moment in the game. The TMO has one big call to make and he has made a terrible mistake.
“At this level it is pretty disappointing. Not to be given what we thought was a legitimate try was a massive moment.
“I struggled with the wording [from the TMO]. He said that England got there first and there was no downward pressure from Wales. I saw that differently.
“There was clearly downward pressure, and at this level, in front of 82,000 people, when there is a lot at stake, you have to get those decisions right.”
Asked if he will issue a formal complaint about the decision, Gatland replied: “I will just get clarity. You cannot do anything about it.
“It is a decision that has gone against us.”
England head coach Eddie Jones had no complaints with the TMO’s verdict.
“I have never made a comment on a TMO,” said Jones. “It was one part of the game that has done really well in rugby.
“We have a guy up there that is a referee. He has got time to make a decision, and if he can’t make the right decision then what do we do?
“I allow him to make the decisions. He made the decision and we get on with it.”