The Barbarians turned it on at Twickenham, scoring seven tries including two a piece for Bismarck Du Plessis and Jean De Villiers, as they beat Fiji 43-19. It was one of the more enjoyable Baa Baas fixtures of late, with some great tries scored by both teams.
While the scoreline makes thing look one-sided, the Centenary celebrating Fijians showed heart against a star-studded Barbarians team that included top Springboks and All Blacks players.
Hooker Du Plessis and flanker Steven Luatua were both outstanding as the Springbok scored two tries in the first half, and the New Zealand tearaway got his hands on the ball at every opportunity.
Fiji scored a great try through Chiefs back Asaeli Tikoirotuma, but could only add two more late in the game, while the Barbarians kept the scoreboard ticking over.
“Fiji play the sort of attacking rugby people want to watch and once everyone settled down after the first 15 minutes it was full on,” said coach Steve Hansen, who was pleased with the strong turnout.
One of the tries of the match was finished by Tom Taylor after Willie Le Roux, Jean De Villiers and Schalk Burger all combined with some lovely slick passing.
“Both teams threw the ball around and, as I said, there were some nice tries scored. The promoters for the game did a fantastic job and we’ve probably seen a lot of first time rugby people here today.
“It was a good game of rugby in front of a good crowd of 67,000, who were able to see some good rugby and some nice tries. I think there were nine scored on the day so they would have gone away quite happy,” Hansen added.
In the end this was fairly one-sided, but the fixture was played in the sprit of Barbarians rugby, and Fiji – who were unfortunately missing some top players – entered into the contest and played their part by regularly running the ball from deep. Congratulations to both teams for putting on a show.