|AUSTRALIA v WALES||21 – 18||W BARNES||7.0/10|
|NEW ZEALAND v FRANCE||8 – 7||C JOUBERT||7.5/10|
BRONZE MEDAL PLAY-OFF
AUSTRALIA v WALES – W BARNES
- The Wales scrum weighing a total of 925 kg (compared to Australia at 909 kg) was under extreme pressure for most of the game. It appears that the loss of Adam Jones reduced Welsh scrum ability significantly. Cadence was slow early on in game which was a little unsettling for both “packs”.
- There were 14 penalties at breakdown/ruck/post tackle (compared to his average over his 5 games of 11; 9—5—13—14—14.) He was consistent and fair at the breakdown, but this was a very untidy game (not the referees “doing”) with the Welsh in particular being loose in their ball carriage, presentation and security.
- 18 awarded in the game, which is around average for all referees over all the games.
- As in the Wales v Fiji game, a blatant forward pass missed by all 3 “officials” leading directly to Shane Williams’ try. Barnes was offline so it was a difficult ‘call’ for him however this “try” took Wales to an 8-7 lead.
NEW ZEALAND v FRANCE – C JOUBERT
- A very tense and closely contested game where Jouberts calm seemingly unflappable manner was needed.
- Both teams were pushing the boundaries at the Breakdown, with the French very efficiently and frequently slowing the ball down.
- At the breakdown/ruck/post tackle he blew 12 penalties (5 against NZ and 7 against France) which was about average for the tournament.
- The seemingly lack of “input” from assistant referees Rolland and Owens, particularly at offside in phase play, skewed throws into lineout and knock on in general play seemed to be carrying on. This appears to follow a trend toward non-interference from the assistant referees over the RWC. This is not necessarily a bad thing, the question we need to be asking is “how much imput is too much?”
- Just 1 scrum reset in the game (NZ) and 4 penalties (2 each) – first scrum at 17 minute mark and just 2 scrums in the first 30 minutes (a total of 13 scrums in the whole game.)
- Jouberts consistency was a benefit to the game in that a “Rogue” penalty late in the game did not decide the Cup.
- Weighing all requirements for such an important contest, Craig Joubert was the best choice on form at the tournament.