Ref Wayne Barnes takes ball to the face

Last updated 14:24 22/01/2013

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For those All Blacks fans who still blame referee Wayne Barnes for New Zealand's quarterfinal loss to France at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, here's something to smile about.

The English whistleblower, who controversially missed a French forward pass and sin-binned Luke McAlister in that quarterfinal in Cardiff, got hit in the face by a ball kicked by Munster first-five Ian Keatley during a Heineken Cup pool match at Thomond Park at the weekend.

After hitting Barnes square in the beak, the ball rebounded 20m down the field, back into Munster's 22, Barnes was knocked to the ground. He was checked on by the Munster medical staff, with one jokingly asking "Do you remember everything? ... What's the score?". 

For the record, Munster won the match 29-6 to the joy of 25,600 home fans in Limerick, earning them a quarterfinal matchup against English club Harlequins in April.

Surely Munster wing and captain Doug Howlett, who was in the All Blacks 2007 World Cup squad, got a chuckle out of it.

Watch it in slow motion. It'll make you feel a little better.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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