All Blacks: Williams defends Henry, attacks Barnes for Cardiff display

Lock Ali Williams has broken the unwritten All Blacks rule not to attack referee Wayne Barnes for his performance in their rugby World Cup quarterfinal loss to France.

Williams revisited the ghosts of Cardiff with a stinging summation of Barnes' performance, saying the English whistler missed 17 French offences in the 18-20 loss.

All Blacks coach Graham Henry has publicly refused to blame Barnes for the loss eight months ago, saying he and his team needed to maintain dignity.

Williams couldn't hold his feelings in as he reflected on the loss today and the public criticism that has been aimed at Henry.

"It gets to me how much you can attack one man (Henry)," Williams told Radio Sport.

"Some of the ownership has to fall on us too, as the players.

"And you've got to look at the ref. Seventeen unawarded penalties, that's bulls***."

Williams, who will play his 48th test against England in Auckland on Saturday, was also critical of the public and media negativity that has followed the All Blacks since their World Cup failure.

He believed it contributed towards some players taking up overseas contracts.

"We love playing for this team more than anything in this world but sometimes enough is enough.

"You think `well, bugger you, I'm over it'."

- NZPA

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