Former All Black boss Graham Henry had suspicions about match fixing at World Cup
Was there match fixing going on at the 2007 Rugby World Cup? New Zealand’s coach at the time, Graham Henry, thought so.
Graham Henry ended 24 years of hurt for New Zealand by finally leading them back to the promised land of rugby on home turf last year. But if you thought finally bringing the Webb Ellis trophy back to New Zealand would mellow Henry, you would be wrong.
Henry is about to release an autobiography, called Final Word, and in it he alleges that he was so perplexed by the refereeing during New Zealand’s defeat to France at the 2007 World Cup that he asked the authorities to investigate the game for irregular betting patterns.
France beat the All Blacks 20-18 but the way that referee Wayne Barnes officiated obviously still rankles with Henry, as he says in an interview on New Zealand TV, reported by scrum.com.
"You know, we've said nothing for four years, nothing, have we?" he told TVNZ. "The time has come to say what we really thought, or what I really thought. The All Blacks didn't get a penalty for the last 60 minutes of the game and attacked over 70% of that time. Now that's, that's impossible but it wasn't impossible on that particular day.
"I asked the rugby union and the International Board if there was any, any laws or any system that they use to look at bizarre games and look at the possibility of sports betting. But apparently they don't which surprised me."
When asked if he thought it was a fix or just bad refereeing, Henry said: "I guess that's why you have a system of analysing those things. If you had a system of analysing, maybe you would come to a result and I could answer that question."
France’s second try did involve a forward pass missed by Barnes and by Henry’s own count, 40 infringements were overlooked during the game.
However, Bob Francis, a New Zealander who was in charge of the men in the middle at the 2007 World Cup, is quoted today and he is not happy with Henry.
"They are extreme. They are totally unacceptable and I refute them totally," he said about the comments. "In actual fact I believe they were nonsense and I think it brings into question his judgement at that time."
Here's the match highlights, so you can have a look yourself.