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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.

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