By default, when you have a Ref_Rows() formula this creates an inline view with a “New” button that allows you to create related records.
When you tap the new button, the reference context is carried over into the following form (automatically creating the reference link).
But if you wrap an ORDERBY() formula around that ref_rows, the relation is no longer carried over - you have to manually select the reference record.
In fact, it seems that any modifications to the Ref_rows causes the auto-ref connection to fail.
It’s long been known that if you mess with the system generated Ref_Rows, the system will generate another one (which you then have to hide/deal with), but the ref-connection has always continued to work.