Outrage over Barnes' 'phantom' forward pass

2016-06-12 02:30
Wayne Barnes (File)

Auckland - Referee Wayne Barnes' reputation for ruling on forward passes was again under the spotlight on Saturday with two contentious decisions during the All Blacks 39-21 win over Wales in Auckland.

The Englishman earned faint praise from All Blacks coach Steve Hansen while Wales mentor Warren Gatland was less enthusiastic.

Barnes was the whistleblower when an apparent forward pass from Damien Traille to Frederic Michalak led to a French try when New Zealand were knocked out of the 2007 Rugby World Cup in the quarter-finals.

He has been unpopular with New Zealanders ever since and riled the partisan crowd at Eden Park on Saturday when he disallowed a try to TJ Perenara late in the game saying the final pass was forward.

Hansen, who was the assistant coach in 2007, said wryly but without conviction that "he got that one, didn't he".

Gatland, however, was not happy with the final pass that led to a first-half try by All Blacks wing Waisake Naholo.

"The referee's made up for 2007 so I don't think the All Blacks can complain any more," he muttered.

The contentious rulings did not affect the outcome as New Zealand outscored Wales five tries to two.

Read more on:    all blacks  |  wales  |  wayne barnes  |  rugby

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