Sportal.co.nz 18.Sep.2013Getty Images
In the wake of the furore over the yellow carding of South Africa's hooker Bismarck du Plessis for his tackle of Dan Carter, Mallett said an admission from the IRB that referee Romain Poite got it wrong was too late.
While the red card du Plessis suffered for a second offence was rescinded, Mallett said it was too late as the damage had been done, possibly changing the outcome of the game and the tournament.
Mallett said on ballz.co.za: "Poite will be sanctioned by the referees' association, but the Springboks don't get the opportunity to replay the game: the result stands. It was an unfair contest from the moment Bismarck was sent off after half-time.
"That decision guaranteed that the Springboks would lose the game. It almost certainly guaranteed that the All Blacks would get a bonus point."
As a demonstration of the frustration with the refereeing system of the moment, Mallett cited the South Africans' game in Mendoza against Argentina where captain Jean de Villiers made a complaint about biting and eye-gouging to the referee Steve Walsh.
Walsh said he would refer the incident to the citing commissioner.
But Mallett said that wasn't enough.
"It doesn't matter what happens afterwards. If you're a player you want the card or the penalty there and then so you can translate that to points.
"With two assistant referees on the side of the field and the benefit of slow motion replays and the TMO up in the stands, there is no reason why an official should make a hasty decision on the field and what was inexcusable was that he [Walsh] didn't ask for an opinion from the TMO," he said.
Mallett claimed the laws were too complicated for one man to be making all the crucial decisions.
Referees were under tremendous pressure and were too often influenced by home crowds. The games had too much at stake for officials to be making mistakes.
"A player gets dropped, he loses his contract, a coach gets fired, a referee is policed by other referees, but players' futures and careers are on the line, therefore you have to get decisions right," he said.
Mallett said he would like to see a similar challenge system to cricket implemented where captains can ask for the TMO to be consulted.
What was so disappointing about du Plessis' original offence against Carter, he said, was that it was such a good tackle and it got a yellow card.