Thursday, June 10, 2010
James OConnor scored a hattrick while Berick Barnes missed a late match winning penalty kick as England narrowly avoided defeat to the Australian Barbarians when they drew 28-28 in Perth on Tuesday.
The Australian Barbarians looked in control for a large part of the game, but two late tries to England allowed them back in it. OConnor was the star of the show though, with his three tries, two conversions, and two penalties giving him a personal tally of 25 points.
OConnor, still only 19, has since been called up to the Australian squad to face England this Saturday, replacing Kurtley Beale who played at fullback against Fiji.
"He couldn't have done much more," coach Robbie Deans said of O'Connor. "He had a great game. It's good to have choice. He was assertive in his game. We know he is a talented individual. He served his wings well, he served his team well under the high ball and he created a bit himself."
Barnes levelled the scores with a penalty late in the game, but his final kick went wide as the home side looked to snatch the win. England coach Martin Johnson feels that his scratch side did okay considering they were together a week, but was unhappy about the errors.
"We really could and maybe should have won the game at the end with the opportunities we had. Of course, we could have lost it.
"Every part of our game today was good in bits and inconsistent in bits. We did lots of good things but we also compounded a few errors. From our point of view it showed that if we do what we say we will, it will work for us.
"But if we relax and make mistakes, miss tackles, get tight defensively and compound errors then it won't. If you make mistakes at this level you get punished," said Johnson.
This match wasnt broadcast on TV at all, but they did stream it on their website with one camera and no commentary. Heres some highlights for you to watch anyway.
Note: Thanks to rugby.com.au for the footage