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RugbyU: Gatland questions referee after Australia defeat

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Wales coach Warren Gatland questioned the decision of referee Wayne Barnes to award Australia what turned out to be the decisive try in the Wallabies' 30-26 win in Cardiff on Saturday, saying the Englishman might have behaved differently if New Zealand had been involved.

Joe Tomane went over in the 48th minute at the Millennium Stadium, the wing doing brilliantly to gather up on the bounce a poor pass from Israel Folau.

But it appeared Folau's pass may have gone forward, although, under a recent ruling by the International Rugby Board, because his hands went backwards in the act of passing, that was sufficient for Barnes not to disallow the try.

"The referee made the decision himself, without the TMO (television match official). I doubt he would have made that decision himself if it was the All Blacks playing."

Gatland's words may cause raised eyebrows in his native New Zealand where Barnes still hasn't been forgiven in some quarters for allowing a France try from a 'forward' pass that contributed to the All Blacks' shock 2007 World Cup quarter-final loss at the Millennium Stadium.

Unsurprisingly, Australia coach Ewen McKenzie had a very different view of Tomane's try, one of five in all scored in a breathless match where centre Christian Leali'ifano and full-back Folau also crossed for the Wallabies and Wales wing George North touched down twice.

"We've had five or six of those denied during the year," said McKenzie after Australia recorded their ninth straight victory against 2015 World Cup pool rivals Wales.

"As far as I know, the pass has come out of the hands backwards and that's it. I think there has been a lot of discussion in the refereeing group and from what I saw that's exactly the way they adjudicated that... the circumstances around that are quite clear."

jdg/bc

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131201/rugbyu-gatland-questions-referee-after-australia-defeat