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Ben Funnell slamming tackle on Hawkins

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

England hang on to beat the Barbarians at Twickenham

England hang on to beat the Barbarians at Twickenham

A day after the Guinness Premiership final, Twickenham was the venue once again as it hosted an entertaining match between England and the Barbarians, with the home side coming out 35-26 winners after dominating the first half.

The Barbarians, coached by Phillipe Saint Andre, came back strongly in the second half but England hung on to take the important win ahead of their tour of Australasia. They were without their Leicester players from the day before, and had three uncapped players in Dave Attwood, Jon Golding, and New Zealand born centre Shontayne Hape.

The Barbarians, who were only together for a week, had a few loose defensive efforts in the first half, with England finding gaps and breaking tackles with ease. Mark Cueto was a stand out as he ran good lines and offloaded when possible. He picked up the Man of the Match award.

"Performance-wise the first half was generally pretty good but the second was very disappointing, we didn't see much ball and were probably a little bit soft in defence," Nick Easter said afterwards. "But we showed character to grind out the win at the end."

Englands squad heads to Australia now where they will play two Tests and two midweek games, before crossing over to New Zealand to play the All Blacks.

"There aren't many fixtures to play at this time of year but it's a game that we needed before we go to Australia," said coach Martin Johnson afterwards.

"The game became loose at times and there's a danger that you'll get sucked into that and loose shape, which is exactly what the Barbarians want. The Barbarians chanced their arm at the breakdown and I'm not sure it would come off in a Test match - the referee obviously saw the game differently," he added.


Time: 06:25

Posted at 1:49 pm | 39 comments

Viewing 39 comments

Laz June 02, 2010 1:02 pm

Yay, been waiting for this. Thanks RD! :)

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tikoala June 02, 2010 1:12 pm

Thank you very much

Very good plays from elissalde, heymans and sackey.

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jimmymc1 June 02, 2010 1:12 pm

soft game/opp etc but Dave Attwood looks the real deal.

anyone know anything about him?

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vinniechan June 02, 2010 1:13 pm

Well play to Sackey who made a mockery of his dropping from England.

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RedYeti June 02, 2010 1:23 pm

Sackey was injured because he broke his leg I believe... And he is now moving to France to join Jonny at Toulon (hence wearing two different club socks in this game). Neither of those things will have helped his England chances, and neither will his age or the influx or great young wingers in the premiership this season. Attwood and Cueto both had amazing games here too

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jackohos June 02, 2010 2:32 pm

Pretty sure Philippe Saint Andre was the coach, not Sella

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RD June 02, 2010 2:41 pm

^ Correct. Thanks for pointing out the typo. Fixed up now

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sylvain June 02, 2010 2:42 pm

Ellisalde for his last game was awesome.Heymans too

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Darren June 02, 2010 2:43 pm

Jesus the defense was bad, amplified by Haskell smoking Warwick and Warwick blocking Sackey's cover tackle. Atrocious.

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miner June 02, 2010 3:07 pm

England looked like a formidable side...in the first half. What was going on in the second?? Credit to the Barbarians, though - with England taking their foot off the gas, the Baa baas were able to play some nice-looking, highly-entertaining rugby.

Thanks for the recap, RD.

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RedYeti June 02, 2010 3:13 pm

In the second half we took off Attwood, Golding and Hape, who were all sparking things in attack, and replaced them with inferior subs who just didn't make an impact (*cough* Payne...) The Barbarians on the other hand brought on some very good substitutions and they started scoring tries (Smith and Johnston etc)

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Kevin June 02, 2010 3:19 pm

who the hell are the barbarians? I can't find any info about them...

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Anonymous June 02, 2010 3:30 pm

not a great performance by either team. at times england look as if they dont know what theyre doing at all. wheres the game plan?
no real evident leaders either, cept for haskell.
i reckon theyre going down south to get HAMMERED!!

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Humper June 02, 2010 4:38 pm

@ Kevin- they are an invitational side made up of different players, and a different team is selected every year (?) to play different nations

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Flooz June 02, 2010 4:44 pm

Always nice to see a match with the barbarians.
Everything for the attack, And as always some "guatemala holes" in defence;)

a special word on elissalde, we will miss him in rugby
Heymans and Sackey seemed to have good legs

Fail of the 80th minute, English kicking a penalty rather trying to score...

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Andrew June 02, 2010 5:01 pm

paul sackey massively overated - no pass tackle or kick!

yeh he supported well for his tried but not convinced about him otherwise.

heymans on the other hand is elite

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Anonymous June 02, 2010 5:09 pm

Despite making a few breaks in this game, I still strongly feel that Nick Easter is the most un-dynamic number 8 in test rugby. How about Haskell at 8 then put Croft or Worsley at 6 with Moody at 7?

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Leeners93 June 02, 2010 5:21 pm

^^^^^^^^^^^^^

actually not a bad idea.haskell has really bulked up the last couple of seasons,but he still has much better skills than easter.i reckon england should give that a go(with croft at 6,cos worsely is useless)

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Kearney for tests June 02, 2010 5:24 pm

Does anyone else think Cedric Heymans is just wonderful?

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jente June 02, 2010 5:46 pm

haha they always look so fat in the baabaa's outfit. Even ellisalde looks like a big man

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Wheezer June 02, 2010 5:58 pm

What on earth is wrong with England? OK they scored some tries and were made to look good by some shocking defending, but they will get absolutely smashed by any decent team who is fired-up and well-drilled.

I want to call their 'attacking line' flat, but it isn't even that. For it to be flat they would have to have a plan, and communicate. It's just a shambles. It's been like this for the last 6 years now. I've seen better school sides.

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Xavier June 02, 2010 6:44 pm

@ kevin: well, barbarians are, as has been said, an invitational side, purelly to promote sportsmanship, fun games, and answer my "what if these guys played together" fantasies. You wear your national side's or your club's socks (if uncapped) and they allways pick at least 1 uncapped player. We've had some of rugby's most fantastic XVs in the form of the barbarians RFC (no training time, tho). It's purelly for the hell of it, and, maybe, to give some blokes an opportunity to prove themselves.


@ anon and leeners: Oh, I would love to see that. Don't really think Easter is a smart runner, or has good ball skills. He just seems a big, burly and a bit dumb player, albeit being capable of working hard.
Haskell, on the other hand, is a player who's style I much prefer. Big, surprisingly fast for his size, nice skills and with a good head resting on his shoulders, he has a better game vision

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creggs08 June 02, 2010 7:26 pm

would anybody be able to name out the baa baas starting team please?

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Anonymous June 02, 2010 7:49 pm

Anyone else notice Cueto holding back Sackey for the Haskell try? haha

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Anonymous June 02, 2010 8:21 pm

people saying N. Easter should be replaced: He gave England front foot ball and set up BenFoden's try. We need his bulk for our tour as well.

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Anonymous June 02, 2010 8:38 pm

Some players were still fighting these last days, preparing and finally finalizing real battles today, had no sleep but were "silently" doing great stuff for the team. But now they need some sleep, bring it home soon!!!!!!!!!!

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rodofle June 02, 2010 9:42 pm

Heymans is just a wonderful player He's got so much class and style in his play

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David June 02, 2010 10:05 pm

the ba ba's were CRAP in the first half, cencus johnson made a big difference when he came on i thought.

England weren't that great tbh..

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Tim June 02, 2010 10:43 pm

England struggled against a weak Babaas line up.
Not promising for their Australian tour.
It wouldn't surprise me if they don't win a single game.

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granite June 03, 2010 4:10 am

I know that highlights don't really do justice to a game, but I thought I would be embarrassed if I supported England from what I saw here. Getting your tries when guys literally fall off you is nothing to crow about, they looked really sub-par.

The fullback for England looked ok from the highlights. At least when he had the ball in hand he ran hard AND STRAIGHT. More than can be said for a lot of the forwards...

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4LC4TR4Z June 03, 2010 11:58 am

Saint Andr is doing his shopping with the Barbarians.

After Sackey, George Smith and Cedric Heymans will join Toulon too.

Sounds good to me. :)

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rosh June 03, 2010 1:52 pm

barbarians side was rubbish, no15 especially. good to see england play for once though

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rosh June 03, 2010 1:53 pm

barbarians side was rubbish, no15 especially. good to see england play for once though

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Maximus June 03, 2010 2:29 pm

Seriously 4LC4TR4Z? Heymans? Don't you just mess up with Hayman?
Jeez... I can understand why (didn't play a lot recently and started the game with St Andr) but I'm so disappointed somehow...
Well, a top class player has to play...

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Maximus June 03, 2010 7:05 pm

^sorry, I wanted to say "mix up" not "mess up".

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mise June 03, 2010 11:26 pm

taking a kick at the end: Pathetic.
A reason not to bother watching Ba ba matches over the next while (I know they didn't do it, but if this is the approach teams take against them, then no, I won't bother watching.

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(u-p)rick June 04, 2010 12:24 am

Im not sure you guys are being particularly fair....It was England 32 Babarians 26

now if England went for the try, and were turned over, you think the baa baa's would kick it out? no, they run it like ****!!!

Now worse case scenario the baabaas score under the posts and kick it through, all of a sudden england go from 32-26 to 32-33 and they lose....

whilst i admit it would be nice to see them take the challenge, a win is a win and a lose is a lose.....now had they lost they would have looked at each other in dispair.....its boring, but its safe....

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Juggernauter June 04, 2010 5:00 am

I love the Barbarians, along with the Varsity Match, the British & Irish Lions, the Haka, the drunk songs and simple outfits and other rugby traditions.

England's MUST BE players in Australia:

Lawes at 4, Shaw at 5.
Haskell at 8, Moody at 7 and Croft at 6.
Foden at 15, Ashton at 11, Geraghty at 10.

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Anonymous June 05, 2010 10:43 pm

It really does make me laugh when I hear people slag off Paul Sackey... They clearly do not know much about rugby! LMAO

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