For any Kiwi rugby fan, watching referee Wayne Barnes walk onto a rugby field is a cause for concern. That concern was reinforced Saturday night when he delivered a shocker in the Australia vs. Sth Africa game. Now the right side won, but at what point does this bumbling idiot be removed from refereeing international matches?
Somehow he missed the ugly, flying crunch that Springbok flanker Heinrich Brussouw put on Wallaby hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau which was, at worst, worthy of a yellow card and, at best, a penalty. It led to Polota-Nau leaving the field with injured ribs. Jeez, Wayne.
He also remarkably missed Matt Giteau’s drop goal before halftime. Barnes was standing in front of the posts but had to ask the video ref if it had gone over. It had. Clearly. Hmmm.
Somehow Barnes missed at least two forward passes as the Springboks pressed the Wallabies hard towards the end of the first 20 minutes. Many New Zealanders will not be able to help comparing them to THAT forward pass in the 2007 World Cup quarter-final.Barnes was the referee then and he still looks a bit like a frightened schoolboy – but this match was more about the rejuvenated Wallabies than any referee with the wobblies.
The old adage in NZ goes like this – “I support the men in black and anyone playing Australia”. But with a load-mouthed coach and a spectacle destroying game plan, we might replace Australia with Sth Africa.
Which will make for a much anticipated game next weekend. A game I’m going to have to get up at 3am to watch given my Dish Network’s receiver’s new trick of switching off 13 minutes into Tri Nations recordings…
I just hope Wayne Barnes won’t be there…