FRANCE 26-39 NEW ZEALAND, 2000
The All Blacks played France twice in November 2000, providing a chance of sorts to avenge the shock loss at the World Cup in 1999.
The first test in Paris ended up being marred by a shocker of a performance by Australian referee Wayne Erickson.
He had two whopping howlers. The first was the award of a try to French lock Fabien Pelous that wasn’t even remotely close to being a try.
Pelous chugged towards the All Blacks line, but was turned in the tackle once he got there.
The All Blacks then piled underneath him and Pelous, on his back on the top of this human morass, was nearly as stunned as everyone else that he had been awarded the try.
To his credit, he looked embarrassed as he ran back to halfway. To even the ledger, Christian Cullen was awarded a try late in the game from a clear forward pass by Jonah Lomu.
The Daily Telegraph in the UK had this to say about Erickson’s performance: “There was some sustained excitement during some passages after the break, but for much of the game referee Wayne Erickson seemed determined to stifle the players’ ambition and ration the spectators’ enjoyment.
“Both sides su ered. Refereeing a top international is always fiendishly di cult, and the laws are doing the referees no favours, but a more positive approach would definitely help.
“Maybe it’s just body language, but the animated glee with which Erickson issued every penalty and punished minor o ences, real or imagined, was most disconcerting.”