Match-fixing accusations in Henry memoir
Sun, 29 Jul 2012 6:21p.m.
By Dan Parker
World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry is conveniently out of the country tonight as a storm brews around contentious revelations in his recently completed memoirs.
In the book, Henry says he suspected the All Black 2007 Rugby World Cup exit could have been down to match-fixing and says reviewing the match made him physically sick.
Sir Graham Henry today had a lack of any comment regarding match-fixing allegations aimed at the 2007 Rugby World Cup quarter-final.
Sir Graham is in Argentina on the eve of his memoirs hitting shops. In it he targets referee Wayne Barnes who was in control of that fateful match against France.
The author of the book says he, Sir Graham and the publisher are prepared for any legal action resulting from the book, as it has been scrutinised by lawyers.
“I can tell you that there were probably 300 or 400 words that were taken out, which I'd love to tell you now what they were because they would be even more damning,” says author Bob Howitt.
Straight after the match, Sir Graham alluded to the All Blacks being hard done.
“Seemed to be going quite well in the first half,” he said at the time. “We just didn't get the rub of the green much.”
But Bob Howitt says Henry came to consider the possibility the match was fixed after reviewing footage of it and counting forty penalties against France which were missed by Barnes.
“Within three-quarters of an hour he felt nauseous and within an hour he raced to the bathroom and he threw up,” says Mr Howitt. “His wife said ‘are you all right Graham’, and he said ‘no I'm not’. He said ‘we've been sawn of at the legs’.”
But the allegation has been met with scepticism by some.
Rugby writer Stephen Jones called it a "Puke-making assault on Wayne Barnes by bitter Graham Henry” and asked if the IRB has the guts to act against Henry.
The IRB responded to Mr Jones, saying that for now they “note” some comments have been made.
Creating controversy is a clever way of selling books and the NZRU is trying to steer clear of the accusations.
It told 3 News at the time it raised concerns with the IRB over refereeing but had since moved on.
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1/08/2012 1:50:33 a.m.
The opening game between France and Argentina in 2007 really threw the cat amongst the pigeons. The Argentinians winning sent a panic through the IRB. The television revenues that would be lost by having France knocked out in the quarters was I believe a huge catalyst. The AB's are no saints. But the penalty count against a generally well disciplined AB's side (long gone was the Maxwell/Flavell era) was crazy. Ali Williams to my knowledge has always been suspicious of the result. Granted, the All Blacks did not play well and it has since come out that key AB's went into that match carrying injuries. Barnes himself was out of his depth and apparently came close to a breakdown after. I know of a story of a Kiwi sports Journalist who tried to interview him after in his Hotel room, apparently Barnes opened the door and looked as if he'd been on a bender for a few days. Guilty conscience maybe? Nevertheless, I've even had some Aussie mates say we got swindled. Rugby can ill afford this kind of thing. Southern Hemisphere teams play better ball, but have the smaller audience. In an age when money dominates NZ, Aus and other Sth Pacific teams will always run the chances of there being a 'fix' this is truly disconcerting. Disconcerting also are the attitudes of pundits in the NH, who delude themselves the SH has to much power and get away with murder. It's just not true SH teams get the ratings. That's about the only card they hold. Its a paltry one really as the infamous French game is testament too. The idea of putting an inexperienced guy like Barnes in charge of such an important smacked of disrespect anyway you look at it. What it did is it took the shine completely off of the French teams wonderful win in 1999. Where they played the AB's off the park. With Barnes presence this French team was robbed of the dignity of beating the AB's fair and square. I'd love to get some French players comments about that game.
30/07/2012 7:02:55 p.m.
I don't think for one moment you could compare 2011 with 2007. The French had a dubious try when one of the French clearly joined the ruck from an offside position and Piri Weepu missed more than a couple that night. The French replacement flyhalf, Trinh-Duc had his chance to put them in front etc. I think when watching obvious mistakes like in 2007. you can't blame someone for questioning the integrity of the game.
30/07/2012 4:35:15 p.m.
@Steven plamer.. You think france were robbed? they had there chances but didnt take them thats not our fault, also piri weepu missed 11 points for us with the boot . I dont understand why you would think france were robbed.
30/07/2012 2:30:53 p.m.
I think that everyone can agree that Barnes was out of his depth.Probably didnt get the support from his more experienced touchies.At least Spreadbury fell on his sword and retired perhaps Kaplan should have followed suit
30/07/2012 11:36:57 a.m.
I recall Grant Fox's live comments during the game, where he stated during the match "Wayne Barnes is only referring one side". No other game has ever made me as angry as the 2007 RWC quarter final vs France - the result was clearly decided off the pitch. As for the 2011 final - the ref didn't bother enforcing the off-side rule in that game either - I'm a Kiwi and I'm embarassed to say this but we got the rub of the green that day. I guess you win some, lose some. 2007 wasn't our turn; 2011 was.
30/07/2012 10:53:25 a.m.
I would love to hear from some of the ex all blacks who played in that game and what they thought I always thought it was strange they gave the game to Wayne Barnes in only his second international,and as for Stephen Jones if New Zealand said black, he would say blue.
30/07/2012 9:35:01 a.m.
someone with guts.. finally wrote:
throw in owen glen and again you look at the cronies who run the irb.
Those morons said nothing because in the end they continue to line up there pockets... the longer they stay in those positions of influence the more we see the game we love and enjoy lose its integrity and credibility.
30/07/2012 7:35:02 a.m.
steven plamer wrote:
Completely agree. Poor refereeing. Same thing in 2011, where the French were robbed, and all of NZ knows it too. The whole sport, at that level, is a farce.
30/07/2012 4:45:11 a.m.
David Lewis-Roberts wrote:
We both my wife and myself come to NZ EVERY year to see our family from WALES and on seeing that match over and over again I have to completely agree with Graham Henry and so does most if not all of my Rugby friends here in WALES. It was obviously disgusting to watch and has harmed the game ever since.
29/07/2012 11:17:09 p.m.
And what about the 2011 Final?
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