Henry suspected match-fixing after World Cup loss
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -A biography of former All Blacks coach Graham Henry reveals he suspected match-fixing after his team's shock loss to France in the quarterfinals of the 2007 World Cup and urged the New Zealand Rugby Union to press for an international inquiry.
In Graham Henry: Final Word, due to be published this week, biographer Bob Howitt says Henry briefly considered match-fixing as the only explanation for the All Blacks' 20-18 defeat.
Henry says when he analyzed the match he found English referee Wayne Barnes had awarded New Zealand only two penalties, although he counted more than 40 potential offenses committed by France. France was also awarded a try from a forward pass.
Henry says he found it "incomprehensible'' that rugby had no procedures in place to investigate "bizarre'' results in major matches.
"He knew if a comparable situation had occurred in other sports, it would be investigated,'' Howitt writes. "But there existed a blissful purity about rugby, or at least that's how everyone wanted to perceive it. It wasn't politically correct to even suggest the match officials might have favored one team.''
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