FRANCE 20-18 NEW ZEALAND, 2007
Everyone in New Zealand can appreciate that this list simply had to include the 2007 World Cup quarter-final between the All Blacks and France. The referee that night, Wayne Barnes, had a poor game. He was young and inexperienced and should never have been given charge of a game of this magnitude.
But World Rugby had di erent ideas and they paid the price: the All Blacks were dumped out and the confidence of a promising young referee was badly damaged.
We all know what happened – Barnes didn’t award a penalty in the final 55 minutes of the game when he should have; he yellow-carded Luke McAlister when a warning would have su ced and he missed the most glaring forward pass in the history of glaring forward passes.
The All Blacks played poorly themselves, but they were unquestionably hampered by a seriously bad e ort by the man with the whistle.
YOUNG BUCK Wayne Barnes should never have been given charge of the World Cup quarter-final in 2007.