Barnes copping criticism after farcical finish in France

By Julien Pretot, Julien Pretot is a Roar Rookie

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25 Have your say

    Referee Wayne Barnes was the focus of criticism after France’s astonishing 20-18 Six Nations victory over Wales, which ended with 20 minutes of added time, a disputed substitution and fierce debate about the official’s failure to award a penalty try.

    The clock showed 99 minutes and 55 seconds when France’s replacement flanker Damien Chouly touched the ball down after nine penalty scrums and Camille Lopez slotted over the conversion to seal victory for the hosts.

    France felt the game should have been brought to a close sooner with a penalty try as Wales were repeatedly penalised at the scrum, while the visitors focused their ire on a substitution they said damaged the game’s integrity.

    In failing to award a penalty try, France coach Guy Noves claimed the English referee fell into a trap of his own making, while lock Yoann Maestri lashed out at the official.

    “We were refereed like a small team and it’s very painful. Barnes told me that we were not dominant enough in the scrum. But the Welsh were rigging every scrum,” Maestri said.

    “They were letting themselves get turned. It’s down to the referee to spot it.”

    Maestri added that Barnes’ failure to award a penalty try showed he had lost control.

    “It was verging on nuclear warfare on the sidelines and the referee didn’t react,” he said.

    France forwards coach Yannick Bru, however, was pleased his players did not let frustration get the better of them.

    “I knew that Barnes, whom I’ve gotten to know over time, would not award a penalty try. But my players did not make any mistake,” he said.

    “We were more stubborn than Mr Barnes.”

    Wales were equally upset in the aftermath, however, accusing the French of making an unlawful substitution, which coach Rob Howley said brought the game’s integrity into disrepute.

    Starter Rabah Slimani was allowed back on as replacement prop Uini Atonio was taken off for a head injury assessment. Howley said he believes the substitution was planned.

    “What happened in the last moments of that game shouldn’t ever happen again,” said Howley.

    “One of the coaches had a word with their doctor and within a minute of that their tighthead went off. The evidence suggests that it’s not in the integrity of our game.”

    © Reuters 2018

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    The Crowd Says (25)

    • March 20th 2017 @ 9:32am
      mania said | March 20th 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report

      kiwi’s are no strangers to barnes when he gets into this mood

      • March 20th 2017 @ 11:10am
        Old Bugger said | March 20th 2017 @ 11:10am | ! Report

        Yes but, its the same side that comes out, on a positive……still, another team can now share the angst, that surrounds Mr Barnes.

        • March 20th 2017 @ 12:05pm
          Bakkies said | March 20th 2017 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

          Nah Barnes did his best to keep Wales in it and he was in charge of them two weeks in a row. That simply should not happen.

          Wales also had to be reminded they needed to reminded that they had to take a player off after Lee was sent to the bin

          • March 20th 2017 @ 12:51pm
            Old Bugger said | March 20th 2017 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

            I guess from Wales POV, Barnes has drawn the ire of another side even if, he tried his hardest, to keep them in the game. Mind you, France are also not happy, with this whistling display……the mind-boggles when a referee can earn, so much distaste.

      • March 20th 2017 @ 10:41pm
        Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | March 20th 2017 @ 10:41pm | ! Report

        Just in case anyone ever forgets, Mania.

    • March 20th 2017 @ 11:15am
      Sheikh said | March 20th 2017 @ 11:15am | ! Report

      The trouble with the French substitution is that the concussion regulations mean that head injury assessments are sacrosanct. A referee cannot over-rule a doctor who says that a player needs a HIA. The French may have pulled a fast one, but the options open to Barnes were to either go to uncontested scrums or allow Slimani back on the field. It might be interesting if, when a substitution occurs, the team have to announce to an official whether the substitution is tactical, injury-enforced, a HIA or BIA, as if Slimani came off for injury reasons he shouldn’t have been allowed back on, but that would presumably just result in every substitution being ‘tactical’.

      I think the problem here is that Barnes was unwilling to award a penalty try, or send another Welsh player to the sin-bin. Nine penalties after the hooter, and after one Welsh player has already been sent to the sidelines? Surely Barnes should have called the Welsh captain over and told him repeat offenses will result in more yellow cards.

      • March 20th 2017 @ 11:50am
        mania said | March 20th 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

        I don’t see a problem. france played within the rules.
        WBs used to do this all time under deans. dunning would start, then be subbed off after 20 mins. then the subbed prop would go down in the 60th minute and dunning would come back on.
        once when Kaplan was reffing he told WBs that they couldn’t sub on PolotuNou as they were using this kind of loophole that Kaplan had obviously cluedup to. Kaplan was wrong but WBs stopped exploiting that rule after that.

      • March 20th 2017 @ 12:08pm
        Bakkies said | March 20th 2017 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

        On the topic of yellow cards had Chouly not have scored that try Biggar was heading to the bin for a professional foul.

    • March 20th 2017 @ 11:58am
      R2D2 said | March 20th 2017 @ 11:58am | ! Report

      This nothing new for Barnes.

    • March 20th 2017 @ 12:59pm
      Rugbyfan101 said | March 20th 2017 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

      Having watched the whole game once and the last twenty minutes twice more I think the criticism of Wayne Barnes is over the top. Just focusing on the last 20 he was in a very difficult position and while most of those scrums were french penalties on a number of them they were not penalty try worthy. For example on at least two occasions the French front row popped up before the welsh. Now generally the team going forward gets the benefit of the doubt but to award a penalty try on that is, in my opinion, wrong.

      • March 20th 2017 @ 2:41pm
        ajg said | March 20th 2017 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

        I totally agree, none of those scrums looked like it was going over the line. but he should maybe have sent another welsh player to the bin earlier (although he did say out loud that biggar was going to the bin just before the french scored)

      • March 20th 2017 @ 3:22pm
        dontcallmeshirley said | March 20th 2017 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

        I am no real fan of Barnes as a referee, however I would have to agree. He was in a difficult situation and did what he had to do. The Welsh were constantly infringing.

        In many ways it the the most enthralling 20 minutes of 6N rugby I have watched.

        I recall however that as the 80 was up they didn’t seem to stop the clock as much as they normally do. I suspect there was only 5-6 minutes of rugby played. This also allowed Wales to get a player back from the bin who should not have been allowed back as he was in the bin at the 80 minute mark.

        • March 20th 2017 @ 4:14pm
          Moonboot said | March 20th 2017 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

          Barnes followed the laws in a difficult situation – there will always be chimpanzees criticising from the sideline.

          • March 22nd 2017 @ 5:03am
            taylorman said | March 22nd 2017 @ 5:03am | ! Report

            Yeah tend to agree, was waiting for either another player off or a penalty try but no specific scrum looked like the one for the try. I’ve seen Barnes ref worse than that.

    • Roar Rookie

      March 20th 2017 @ 4:12pm
      Shane D said | March 20th 2017 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

      Not sure what Barnes is being criticised for. No referee is going to overrule a medic on a HIA call. One is a trained medical professional & the other is (generally) not.
      The French scrum could have been awarded with a penalty try but Barnes was communicating with the French skipper & telling him they weren’t moving the Welsh scrum back enough. If that’s the standard he started with there is no reason to change it because of the time gone.
      Credit the French for the control the maintained in that 20 minutes & the Welsh need to look at their discipline.

      • Roar Guru

        March 21st 2017 @ 6:21am
        Carlos the Argie said | March 21st 2017 @ 6:21am | ! Report

        As a ref I DID override a HIA by a team doctor. The doctor said the player was fine and it was clearly obvious that the player was groggy and “not there”.

        My responsibility (to use the Irish captain’s words) to make sure players are safe.

        I got the player out. Doc and coach not happy.

        I didn’t care.

    • March 20th 2017 @ 5:02pm
      AndyS said | March 20th 2017 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

      Have to say I found the phrase “We were refereed like a small team” curious…

      • March 20th 2017 @ 5:45pm
        Old Bugger said | March 20th 2017 @ 5:45pm | ! Report

        Perhaps, he meant “lesser team” as in 2nd tier rather than 1st tier…..I’ve seen Mr Barnes referee, another game, like that where awarding a penalty, didn’t happen at all, for a whole half-game. This time, the “small team”, were waiting for a penalty try, which also, didn’t happen for half, of half a game.

        • March 20th 2017 @ 6:02pm
          taylorman said | March 20th 2017 @ 6:02pm | ! Report

          It was fun watching it, got my money’s worth with just on a hundred minutes of rugby, but yes lovely to have Mr Barnes performance scrutinised by others.

          Must be a record having the winning score 19 minutes after normal times up to lose from there. In my day we’d be showered and in the bar by then!

        • March 20th 2017 @ 6:38pm
          AndyS said | March 20th 2017 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

          Perhaps, but “lesser team” doesn’t reflect any better on the referees. Or themselves for that matter, when the implication is that they accept and even expect to be refereed differently. Certainly not saying it doesn’t happen mind, and at more than just the top level…

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