Wayne Barnes criticised after 100 minute match

Referee Wayne Barnes talks to the Welsh side during yesterday's Six Nations clash. Photo / Getty
Referee Wayne Barnes talks to the Welsh side during yesterday's Six Nations clash. Photo / Getty

Referee Wayne Barnes was the focus of criticism after France's astonishing 20-18 Six Nations victory over Wales, which ended with 20 minutes of added time, a disputed substitution and fierce debate about the official's failure to award a penalty try.

The clock showed 99 minutes and 55 seconds when France's replacement flanker Damien Chouly touched the ball down after nine penalty scrums and Camille Lopez slotted over the conversion to seal victory for the hosts.

France felt the game should have been brought to a close sooner with a penalty try as Wales were repeatedly penalised at the scrum, while the visitors focused their ire on a substitution they said damaged the game's integrity.

In failing to award a penalty try, France coach Guy Noves claimed the English referee fell into a trap of his own making, while lock Yoann Maestri lashed out at the official.

"We were refereed like a small team and it's very painful. Barnes told me that we were not dominant enough in the scrum. But the Welsh were rigging every scrum," Maestri said.

"They were letting themselves get turned. It's down to the referee to spot it."

Maestri added that Barnes' failure to award a penalty try showed he had lost control.

"It was verging on nuclear warfare on the sidelines and the referee didn't react," he said.

France forwards coach Yannick Bru, however, was pleased his players did not let frustration get the better of them.

"I knew that Barnes, whom I've gotten to know over time, would not award a penalty try. But my players did not make any mistake," he said.

"We were more stubborn than Mr Barnes."

Wales were equally upset in the aftermath, however, accusing the French of making an unlawful substitution, which coach Rob Howley said brought the game's integrity into disrepute.

Starter Rabah Slimani was allowed back on as replacement prop Uini Atonio was taken off for a head injury assessment. Howley said he believes the substitution was planned.

"What happened in the last moments of that game shouldn't ever happen again," said Howley.

"One of the coaches had a word with their doctor and within a minute of that their tighthead went off. The evidence suggests that it's not in the integrity of our game."

100 minutes of rugby

It took a remarkable 20 minutes of injury time for France to score their winning try, with coach Guy Noves saying he had "never seen anything like that before".

Here is how the injury time period unfolded, via the Opta live commentary.

80th minute

We're into the final minute as France opt to go for the scrum from the penalty after there was no advantage coming. The home crowd are right behind their side now but the Welsh players are getting behind each other too knowing one good scrum could be enough.

81st minute

The scrum goes down and referee Barnes calls for a re-set and asks both sets of front rows to get higher. Atonio is going to have to leave the field for a HIA and is replaced by Slimani. Barnes doesn't seem convinced but the French doctor insists he does need a head assessment.

82nd minute

France get the ball out of the scrum and look to burrow their way over from close range through the forwards. Lopez then gets the ball out to Nakaitaci who is brought down just a metre short but France have another penalty.

83rd minute

Lee has been sent to the sin bin for the offence that lead to the penalty. Francis may well have to come back on here if France opt to go for a scrum from the penalty.

84th minute

Francis will have to come back on as France elect for a Scrum. No one seems to know who he's coming on for though and it's all becoming a bit farcical, but eventually Halfpenny makes his way off.

87th minute

Once again Barnes penalises Wales at the scrum, and once again France choose to have yet another scrum which then collpases, and will be re-set once more.

90th minute

The referee awards France another penalty but this time Picamoles takes a quick tap but is brought down just short of the line. France then shift the ball wide where Dulin knocks on, but referee Barnes brings play back for another penalty as Wales were not 10 metres, and there will be yet another scrum.

93rd minute

France finally get the ball out the back of the scrum and have another advantage coming their way as Webb is penalised for not releasing the ball carrier. Nothing comes of the attack though so France will have yet another penalty, and Barnes gives Warburton another warning.

94th minute

Lee's sin bin is over so he returns to the field along with Halfpenny, with Francis heading back to the bench for the second time.

95th minute

The referee is now checking with the TMO as there has been an allegation of a bite involving North in the middle of a tackle.

97th minute

There's no conclusive evidence of a bite so play will restart with yet another scrum from the France penalty.

99th minute

Another dominant French scrum results in another penalty, and despite a slight breakdown in communication between Barnes and the fourth official causing confusion, play will continue. France get another penalty and Barnes tells Wales that the next offence will result in another yellow card.

100th minute

TRY! France (Chouly) 18-18 Wales

100th minute

France get the ball away again and have another advantage coming as Dupont is brought down just two metre short by desperate last ditch defence., but they recycle the ball and Chouly forces his way over from close range.

100th minute

CONVERSION! France (Lopez) 20-18 Wales. Lopez kicks the conversion from the right-hand side of the posts to the win the game for France.

Full-time: France 20-18 Wales

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