Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Second-half fight backs appear to be the flavour of the month, and the scriptwriters pulled out another cracker this weekend as a last minute Tim Visser try sealed a 38-32 win for the Barbarians over England at Twickenham.
It may have taken them a while to get going, but a Baa-Baas team that boasting over 500 caps had too much all-round class for an inexperienced England side who could not handle the confrontational visitors.
A try in the first 5 minutes for Henry Trinder following good work from Charlie Hodgson and Captain Luke Narraway got England off to a dream start; but the men in black and white hoops quickly responded through Frenchman Benoit Baby who danced through a defensive hole to cross for a converted score.
Ugo Money grabbed an opportunistic try for the hosts before James Simpson-Daniel scored Englands third score. There were shades of 2002 for Simpson-Daniel, who ran round Jonah Lomu in the same fixture nine years ago, when he stepped inside Ruan Pienaar to finish a spectacular score.
But just as England looked to be pulling away with the lead, Frederick Michalak intercepted Paul Hodgson's sloppy pass and raced away for an easy 5 points.
The second-half saw the Barbarians assert their dominance at the scrum and at the breakdown. Unable to hold on to the ball, England conceded a try to flying-Dutchman Tim Visser who collected Michalak's cross-kick to score. The Baa-Baas drew level when good hands put George Smith and Joe Van Niekerk over for further Barbarian scores.
England regained the lead when Exeter flanker Tom Johnson crossed for a try. But it was the Barbarians who had the last word as a great break from Joe Tekori and a deft offload from Van Niekerk allowed Visser to add a dramatic finish to an fascinating match.