Wayne Barnes is still one of the top international referees in the game, and is often on the receiving end of unfair criticism. However, during today's Six Nations clash between Ireland and France, there were poor decisions made against both sides, even with the benefit of the TMO, who should also shoulder some of the blame.
We wrote earlier about his incorrect decision to award Uini Atonio a yellow card rather than a red after making shoulder to head contact in a huge hit on Rob Herring.
Irish fans were rightfully aggrieved, and French fans also shared their disdain for Barnes for allowing a dodgy try from James Lowe - when it appeared he had a foot in touch - and for is general refereeing of the game.
You can view some of the French tweets below, accompanied by a rough google translation.
French Fans Unleash Their Anger On Twitter
"The realization quickly cut when we saw this plan, strange"
La réalisation elle a vite coupé quand on a vu ce plan, étrange 🤔
— Valentin (@Valou_CVA) February 11, 2023
"Wayne Barnes who referees forward passes and empty passes"
Wayne Barnes qui arbitre les passes en avant et les passages à vide #IRLFRA pic.twitter.com/p1UW9anXlT
— Lord Byron (@BrooklynWoo) February 11, 2023
I wonder which French player has slept with the referee’s wife ….
Either that or Wayne Barnes need to get a service dog.
— Parisienne 🇫🇷🇪🇺 (@75002Parisienne) February 11, 2023
#IREvFRA Bealham’s try was invalid. Shitty Barnes.
— Yves de Roffignac (@yvesderoff) February 11, 2023
"Damn Barnes but what a little shit!!!"
Putain Barnes mais quel petite merde !!! #IRLFRA
— Romain 🏉 (@RTamtbon) February 11, 2023
"Barnes what dark shit to arbitration!"
Barnes quelle sombre merde à l'arbitrage !#IRLFRA
— Cédric Rocancourt (@Cedrocancourt) February 11, 2023
"We return to the purest French tradition with a defeat that we will put solely on the back of the referee"
On retourne dans la plus pure tradition française avec une défaite que l’on va mettre uniquement sur le dos de l’arbitre 😍
— Fédé 🇫🇷 de la Lose (@FFLose) February 11, 2023
READ HERE: Ireland Player Ratings: Ireland Unbowed As France Pummeled In Epic Dublin Win
One man who will not worrying about the performance from Barnes is Johnny Sexton. After pulling the strings in a sensational first-half, he spoke after the game about the special build-up the squad had during the week.
"We had a very special week and a special build-up to the game with a few special guests in during the week and spoke about Ireland's call. It was very emotional and unless you were in the room on Monday night you wouldn't understand why.
"We had Brian O'Driscoll and Craig Doyle come in to talk to us about the 'Shoulder to Shoulder' documentary and it was very special and a great day and occasion. The supporters turned up and so did the French and it came down to chances. We didn't take as many in the first-half and made it really difficult but the lads hung in there - a very special day."