Comments:2007 Rugby World Cup: New Zealand 18 - 20 France
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First of all, I'll declare that I'm a New Zealander and so it is fair to say is is possible that I may be somewhat biased. On the other hand, I shall attempt to explain why I have lost confidence in the administration of Rugby as a result of watching this match.
1. The sin binning of Luke McAlister was entirely unwarranted, and appeared to be the result of a theatrical performance that we normally associate with the round ball game by the French player who fooled this junior referee. New Zealanders don't do theatrics and it is a shame to see this sort of nonsense introduced into the game.
Had the referee had the use of replays before pulling out his yellow card, he would have realised this.
As a direct result of the referees wrong decision, the French scored a try and conversion amounting to 7 points.
2. The same junior referee apparently missed the forward pass that led to the second French try.
As a direct result of the referees wrong decision, the French scored another try and conversion amounting to a nother 7 points.
3. Now you will notice that I declared that I was a New Zealander. I notice that the junior referee was English. Given the result of the Australia / England match, England were scheduled to play the winner of this match. Based on previous form, if you were English, who would you rather play? AB's or French? I have been assured by a friend who is an avid football fan, that there is no way an English person would have reffed a game with such a conflict of interest.
4. Now to take a kind slant, the referee at best made a couple of crucial "mistakes" that cost the AB's 14 points. It is of course possible that there is a more sinister explanation as has happened in cricket (ie matchfixing). I believe it is crazy that everyone in the world saw within 10 seconds that Luke McAlister did not intentionally take a player out and that the French passed the ball forward. Everyone in the world that is except the referee. I believe the defending captain must have the RIGHT to appeal to the 3rd referee before a try is confirmed. This is the only way that refs who have made a genuine mistake and cheating refs can be prevented from changing the course of history. Until this is done, rugby, like cricket before replays 3rd umpires were introduced (although I believe they also need to give the batsman the right to appeal an out decision) is in fact a farce.
I'll be the first to admit the AB's played a bad game. We were out thought tactically and didn't change game plan. I would love to have seen us kick and chase over the rushing defense. We probably made selection errors (where were Howlett and Mealamu?). But any team would struggle to win against a 14 point referee bias. We played bad, we made mistakes, but we didn't deserve to lose this game.
Beating 15 other players is tough enough, 16 we couldn't quite do.
Why are people so angry?
The All Blacks players have a well deserved reputation of fair play. Too bad their public and their fans do not follow suit. NZ doesn't make it to the Final (and not even the Semi) once again. Either the whole world (and not just "the English cheating referee") is conspiring against the ABs... or there's something the team does wrong.
I am also a New Zealander, so my view of this game is most probably biased. I think that while the All Blacks weren't playing to par in the 2nd half, the sin-binning of Luke McAlister (in which France scored a legitiment try) and the allowance of a try from a forward pass is inexcusable. And I doubt Barnes would of called advantage over if Luke McAlister had not attempted that drop goal. And Barnes did this while the ball was already in the air.
I also noticed that Paddy O'Brien from the IRB referee panel admitted that the pass was forward and should have not been awarded.
It was a terrible 2nd half by the All Blacks and there were terrible decisions made by the referee, but I must admit, the French did play well in the 2nd half. I don't know whether or not I agree with the theories that Barnes was trying to let England have an easier opponent in the semi-finals, but I know that some of his decisions were terrible. I am just grateful that he was not given the job of refereeing any further matches, but maybe if he did, it would show whether or not he was trying to give England an easier match-up.
I expect facts not fiction to be posted on wikipedia.
There are no educated rugby critics who believe the final score of this match to have been representative of the true score, had a better qualified and experienced referee been present.
There is no known equal example of when a northern hemisphere team has been treated so unjustily in such a big tournament by a southern hemisphere referee in the history of rugby... let alone in the entire history of rugby played by northern hemisphere teams in the southern hemisphere.
I am repsponding to your so-called news section "Indeed, northern hemisphere teams have consistently been on the wrong end of poor decisions on tours of New Zealand and considered the controversy to be little more than sour grapes." Get your facts straight before entering them as facts and certainly don't enter un-substantiated facts (aka dubious opinion) as news!!
Comments from feedback form - "lies!!!!!!!! france cheated! t..."
lies!!!!!!!! france cheated! the ref was soo bias!!!1