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Monday, November 28, 2011

Wallabies crush the Barbarians in Matfield's farewell game

The Barbarians disappointed a Twickenham crowd of 51 212 as they went down 60-11 to a far more organised and determined Wallaby team. It was also a farewell for Victor Matfield, who captained the Barbarians in his final game, but had no joy on the day. 

The game itself was fairly disappointing for the neutral as an invitational side packed with talent simply couldn't withold the powerful Wallabies, who themselves bounced back well following a Rugby World Cup campaign that hadn't gone the way they'd planned.

Missing Quade Cooper due to injury, James O'Connor slotted into the number ten channel and proved to be a more than capable replacement, giving the Australians plenty to work with in future.

While the Wallabies face Wales next week as part of their mini-tour, the day was also meant to be about one of the great servants to Springbok rugby, lock Victor Matfield, but he was left making tackles all day. Perhaps the festive catching up during the week was to blame for such a weak all round performance. 

"It was a fantastic week and, even though we lost the game by so many points, I will remember it for a long time. When you come up for the Barbarians you don't have a lot of training, so some days you click, other days you struggle a bit," he said. 

"Maybe the communication wasn't there, there were one or two slipped tackles and then the other side get momentum and it's hard to stop. Australia are a full international side and they know each other pretty well.

"The Barbarians have two out of three now in the last three years against the southern hemisphere teams so why shoot them down after one bad game? I think it's a fantastic idea and we need this in rugby," added Matfield, who will now take on a coaching role within the Bulls setup. 

Below are highlights from the game, and we'll have one or two other clips from it during the week.

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