The International Rugby Board and Six Nations have backed referee Wayne Barnes over the penalty decision that led to Ireland’s Stephen Ferris being yellow carded during the RBS 6 Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium last Sunday.
While an Independent Six Nations disciplinary panel did not ultimately uphold the citing, the IRB’s match officials performance review endorsed Wayne Barnes’ decision to award a penalty.
On first viewing the panel could understand exactly how the match referee came to his decision. In dismissing the citing no criticism of the referee’s on field decision should be taken or inferred.
It was only after careful and prolonged analysis of the dynamics of the contact, including slow motion and step by step viewing, that the committee was able to see the strength of the submissions made in favour of Stephen Ferris.
All match officials are selected for International competition on merit. Performances are reviewed on an ongoing basis and taken into consideration when appointments are made for future international competitions.
Neither organisation will make any further comment on this matter.
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