So far the Rugby World Cup has provided some seriously unexpected occurrences.
Every non-South African rugby fan around the World expressed their delight as Japan overcame the Springboks in a thrilling encounter, and while that certainly raised a few eyebrows, it's not as surprising as the following headline we just saw over on Stuff.co.nz:
Now, while we've had our fair share of issues with Barnes down the years, it must be said that he did indeed have a very good showing in the match between the Kiwis and Argentina, but we still didn't expect to see that pop up today.
Back in the 2007, the All Blacks were furious with Barnes' performance as France dumped them out of the World Cup in the quarter-final stage, as Barnes made a number of glaring errors in the game, so to see him publicly praised in such a way is not something we expected to see:
On Monday morning Barnes proved again that he is the best communicator with a whistle in world rugby, and he made the right calls in yellow carding three players in the first half of the All Blacks' tournament opener against Argentina.
Hang on a minute, the best communicator with a whistle in world rugby?
They do have a point with the yellow cards though, and it was refreshing to see Richie McCaw actually get yellow carded for a change, although that was little to do with Barnes and more with the TMO in his ear.
The fact people still have concerns over Barnes because of one crucial error made eight years ago is ridiculous. We don't worry about how many friends we have on Myspace any more, do we? We've moved on. Things have changed.
Maybe it's an Irish thing, and the fact that I saw a man walking around Dublin last week with a "Fuck Schillaci" t-shirt on, but the Kiwis heaping praise on Wayne Barnes is something I never thought I would see.
All that said, it has happened, and you can read Stuff.co.nz's referee review in full here.