The Wallabies got their tour off to a solid start with a hard fought 40-36 victory over a Barbarians side that refused to give up, and played some attractive rugby. The entire match was played in the spirit of the club, and was one of the best in recent memory.
Former Wallaby Nick Cummins, now playing his rugby in Japan, got a chance to prove his worth to new Australian coach Michael Cheika, albeit while playing for the opposition Barbarians.
Cummins, or The Honey Badger these days, crossed for a try late in the game but also contributed where possible, also setting up one of the tries of the game for Lions flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff.
The match featured 11 tries, as the Twickenham crowd of 54 000 were treated to a thrilling match that was easily one of the most enjoyable seen this year, and indeed in the recent history of Barbarians fixtures.
The Wallabies had the match tied up but a late fight back from the BaaBaas gave them hope, and left the crowd feeling that despite the loss for the famous club, rugby was the winner as everyone was thoroughly entertained and they didn’t roll over, as has been the case in the past.
“I know Australia have gone through hard times and it’s good way for them to start their tour,” said Barbarians coach John Kirwan of the opposition.
New Australian coach Cheika was pleased, but felt there are some areas they can work on.
“I thought there were some really good patches and at other times guys looked a bit uncertain,” Cheika said. “We need to practice and play together more at that level.
“Our defence was probably the part of the game we want to improve the most. We just need a little bit more clarity around things but that will come.”
It was one of those matches that is difficult to describe, and even harder to sum up in highlights. We’ll archive the full game soon though (if possible). It was a classic so well worth watching.
Who impressed you the most from either side, and are the Wallabies looking good for the rest of their tour? Let us know your thoughts on the match in the comments