The RWC PPP of the Day

2011-10-21 12:51

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


  • clayton.brink - 2011-10-21 13:57

    "much to the chagrin of many a SuperBru player who called a 10-point victory margin" but was brilliant for me who picked a 3 point margin victory for the Wallabies :-) Many thanks to the dodgy touch judge...

      Deon - 2011-10-21 16:34

      Deksels, I was one of those 10 pointers.

  • Theprodigy - 2011-10-21 16:28

    Fully agree on Wayne Barnes, at times I though he had lost his contact lenses, the forward pass for Wales' try was forward by country mile, seconds later he blew a flat (if not backward) pass against Aus, & there were many more little things that I found to be inconsistent with the rules. If there is 1 thing that became blatantly obvious in this WC, it is that there is a big problem with the officiation, it is inconsistent, each ref has his own interpretations & differing degrees of penalization, add to that rules that actually ruin the game & you have a recipe for dwindling interest in the sport. If the IRB & the Rugby unions don't get this fixed, they may be out of a job sooner than they think.

      Ian - 2011-10-21 16:47

      Oh dear. You just don't get it, do you? Referees are human (yes!) and the Laws are static but when there are 30 players all running round, it is a matter of degree and the referee has to balance blowing everything or letting the game flow. Obviously, some things will be open to interpretation.

      Thomas - 2011-10-21 23:44

      Ian!! Theprodigy has got it right!! I was a ref for 10yrs, we didn't have the advantage of assistants getting in on the act then!! It is not so much the refs interpretations that are the biggest worry, it's the laws cut in stone that are the most concern!! Knock/ons, offsides and shocking foreward passes!!! If the catcher receives the ball in front of the.hands of the player passing, that ball has gone foreward!!! I haven't seen in the lawbook where a banana pass going foreward is ok, but a straight pass directed foreward is a foreward pass.

      Ian - 2011-10-22 05:25

      Thomas. I agree that the Laws need tweaking to cut out this type of confusion. But if you read your current Law book, you will see that a forward pass is when the pass is THROWN towards the opponents try line, not when it drifts after being passed. So, as it stands, although it looks horribly wrong, Barnes was correct, the pass was not forward when it left the hands!

  • Ian - 2011-10-21 16:30

    Replays showed......... Then how was it that the NZ commentators thought it was only possibly forward in terms of the ball being passed then drifting forward in the Wales try and dubious again about the Australian one? It was very marginal. Otherwise a good performance from Barnes. No plonker this time round.

      Theo - 2011-10-22 02:55

      Ian these saffas will debate this issue till the cows come home and no amount of evidence to the contrary will make any difference. The truth is : being booted out of the rwc was not even on their radar so it was totally unexpected,it resulted in shock then anger and now blame and of course the bok players are not to blame according to all saffas.They refuse to acknowledge that the 3 errors that cost them the match was : 1) forward pass =NO TRY 2) missed drop goal kick =NO 3 POINTS 3) pulling down Samo in mid air in your own 22 4 yrs from now and we will still be debating this. They must just get over it and move on. no petition will change anything either.

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