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Springboks fans float conspiracy theory around final French try

By Ian Cameron
Wayne Barnes (Referee) and Bongi Mbonambi of South Africa during the 2022 Castle Lager Outgoing Tour match between France and South Africa at Orange Velodrome on November 12, 2022 in Marseille, France. (Photo by Clement Mahoudeau/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Springboks fans are floating a conspiracy theory around France’s final try in their dramatic Autumn Nations Series victory over South Africa in Stade Velodrome in Marseille.

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Fabien Galthie’s men ran out 30-26 winners in a match full of incident, with referee Wayne Barnes handing out a red card apiece in a busy night for the English official.

Yet it was the final French try that has really upset a section of South African rugby fans. Rookie prop Sipili Falatea squeezed over in the 76th minute, with some arguing that there was more than one movement from the foward in doing so.

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Barnes was confident that the try was good, appearing to award it on the spot. It underwent a TMO review none-the-less as France prepared to take the conversion, at which point things got a little weird.

Barnes, who was reffing his 101st Test, lost communication with the TMO for the course of the review. At the end of the issue, Barnes could be heard saying: “Don’t ever do that again”.

Some fans are now suggesting that the French broadcaster had played some unknown role in the failure of the comms.

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SA journalist Brendan Nel wrote: “Convenient losing comms with the tmo. Strange.”

Another account wrote: “Wayne Barnes awarded a double movement try and I think they had to pretend like the communication was lost with the TMO.”

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“Clearly ball was placed and the push from french support players took the man and ball over the line. Never a try! TMO very conveniently was off comms and could not be heard. But from the sidelines Barnes gets a message try is good bit still no comms from TMO,” wrote another.

How much scrutiny the theory would hold up to appears unclear, not least given the TMO was about to rule the try good.

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