Wallabies hold off BaaBaas

2014-11-01 18:32
Wallabies v Barbarians (Gallo Images)
London - Michael Cheika's reign as Australia coach started with a win but the Wallabies were pushed all the way before seeing off the spirited, never-say-die Barbarians 40-36 at Twickenham on Saturday.

Australia ran in six tries in a highly entertaining, stamina-sapping and exciting Killick Cup clash to eventually overwhelm their rivals, who battled all the way to the very end in this non-cap international.

Cheika was summoned from the Waratahs after Ewen McKenzie resigned on October 18, following the nailbiting 29-28 loss to world champions New Zealand as part of the fall-out from the Kurtley Beale text picture scandal.

The new coach is sure to demand a lot more from his players during the rest of their November tour of Europe, which continues with a full international against Wales - a 2015 World Cup pool opponent - in Cardiff next weekend.

A feast of attacking, exciting rugby thrilled the 53 000-plus fans at Twickenham, the venue for next year's World Cup final, with Sam Carter, Benn Robinson, Tevita Kuridrani, Rob Horne, Bernard Foley and Sean McMahon scoring tries for the Wallabies.

Frank Halai, Adam Thomson, Francis Saili, Nick Cummins and Marnitz Boshoff crossed for the BaaBaas, who were more than a match for their opponents in terms of skill, flair and stamina.

At least it gave the tourists the chance to forget the dark cloud which had been hovering over their preparations for this match in the shape of the Beale scandal.

Coached by All Blacks legend John Kirwan, the Barbarians went head-to-head straight from the kick off with the Wallabies, who stuttered to a 14-12 half-time lead after missing several tackles against the invitational side.

Scrum-half Tomas Cubelli tried to catch the Wallabies off their guard with an audacious penalty six yards from the line.

Standing with his back to the gold jerseys, he chipped the ball back over his head for his team-mates to try and catch behind the Aussie line.

Two jumped for it, flyhalf Colin Slade and prop Angus Ta'avao, but neither could grasp the ball as it fell to the ground.

It was the Barbarians who tasted first blood with a fine opening try straight from their attacking handbook, moving the ball from left to right to flanker Matt Todd.

The Kiwi shifted it to Tongan wing Halai who finished off the move, cutting inside to cross the line.

It merely awoke the Wallabies who, having finally gained some momentum, ball and pressure themselves, replied with their own close-range try from second row Carter.

Flanker Thomson dived over in the left-hand corner for the Barbarians' second try only for loose-head prop Robinson to burrow his way across.

Kuridrani then burst through for his try, with the Fijian flyer showing tremendous pace.

Saili retaliated for the Barbarians, beating Israel Folau in a race for the ball.

Slade, whose last-gasp kick saw Australia beaten in Brisbane, edged the Barbarians in front with a penalty but not for long as Horne raced over in the left-hand corner.

Replacements Foley and McMahon strolled over for two more Wallaby tries as their opponents began to run of steam and the tourists' running skill and class told.

There was still time, however, for a late Barbarians fightback thanks to the lively Cummins, playing against his own compatriots.

The Australia wing had his own blonde curly-wigged fan club in the seats celebrating as he darted over with five minutes to go for his try.

He also made a superb weaving run passed Wallaby tacklers to set replacement Boshoff free to run over for the final try before Cheika's men clung on to victory.



15 Tim Nanai Williams, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Alastair Kellock (captain, 4 Dominic Bird, 3  Angus Ta'avao, 2 James Parsons, 1 Matt Stevens

Substitutes: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Thomas Du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Heinrich Brussow, 20 Matias Alemanno, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Joaquin Tuculet, 23 Marnitz Boshoff


15 Israel Folau, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 James Horwill, 4 Sam Carter, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Saia Fainga'a, 1 Benn Robinson

Substitutes: 16 James Hanson, 17 James Slipper, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Sean McMahon, 21 Nic White, 22 Bernard Foley, 23 Christian Leali'ifano

Read more on:    barbarians  |  wallabies  |  rugby

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