Rugby World Cup 2011

The RWC PPP of the Day

2011-10-21 12:51
Wayne Barnes (Getty Images)

Cape Town - The Sport24 team has selected the best Performance, worst performance (or Plonker) and the best Picture from Friday's Rugby World Cup action in New Zealand.

Today’s PPP comes from the third place playoff match between Australia and Wales, with a player many thought should have been a key player for the Wallabies before the tournament shining in only his second start for the Tri-Nations champions, poor officiating in World Cup games rearing its ugly head again and an ending to a rare fluent backline move resulting in an exquisite try.

Performance: Berrick Barnes

The Queenslander was thought to be Wallaby coach Robbie Deans's starting No 12 before the tournament, but fell behind in the pecking order to Pat McCabe, Rob Horne and even Anthony Fainga'a.

He made a welcome return to the starting line-up and scored a sumptuous opening try of the match after latching on to a Quade Cooper pass. Barnes then had to fill the void left by Cooper after the latter limped off with a knee injury in the 21st minute.

He then provided the Australian backline with the much needed spark they were so desperately lacking throughout the knockout rounds, orchestrating numerous scoring opportunities while tactically preventing Wales from threatening the Wallabies defensive line in dangerous areas on the pitch.

Plonkers: Wayne Barnes along with his assistant referees Romain Poite and George Clancy

From one Barnes to another.

After his infamous forward pass blunder in the 2007 Rugby World Cup quarter-final between France and New Zealand in Cardiff, referee Wayne Barnes was at it again.

This time, he failed to notice a blatant forward pass by Wales' James Hook to Shane Williams where the latter actually had to half-volley the initial pass to keep it in play en-route to scoring his side’s first try. Television replays showed that Hook’s pass was at least 45° in front of him and that the touch judge was in line with Hook at the time of his pass.

It did not end there!

Although Australia had the match sewn up with a 10-point lead and with time elapsed on the clock, Wales kept the ball alive through 31 phases of play - with Williams in the thick of it again as he appeared to be tackled into touch before releasing the ball, resulting in another try being scored, much to the chagrin of many a SuperBru player who called a 10-point victory margin.

It may be viewed that Barnes may at least be consistent in his judgment as all his dubious calls resulted in tries in one form or another with a strong Welsh connection!

Picture: Bashing down the Barn(es) door


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