Barbarians power to victory over Gloucester

Nemani Nadolo is tackled by Gloucester's defence

Springbok legend Victor Matfield led the Barbarians to a 62-14 rout of a second-string Gloucester team as the invitational side warmed up for this weekend’s match against Argentina by running in 10 tries at Kingsholm on Tuesday.

An all-southern hemisphere Barbarians line-up boasting nearly 573 Test caps between them had too much experience and guile for a rookie Gloucester team looking to impress coach David Humphreys who, with the Cherry and Whites in the middle of domestic and European action, unsurprisingly did not field any of his first-team regulars.

Amid storm-force winds in the west country, Australia wing Joe Tomane scored two tries for the Barbarians — coached by Wallaby boss Michael Cheika — with the rest shared out between Fiji’s Nemani Nadolo, All Blacks Nehe Milner-Skudder, Ryan Crotty and Waisake Naholo, South Africa’s Lood de Jager and Pat Lambie, and uncapped New Zealander Ardie Savea.

Gloucester flanker Dan Thomas crossed for the home side with a burst from 20 metres and the Cherry and Whites also scored a second-half penalty try after the Barbarians pulled down a driving maul.

But the match was largely one-way traffic and it said much about the resources at Cheika’s disposal that his 23-man squad contained six World Cup winners.

In the second half, Cheika was able to bring Matfield’s longtime South Africa second-row partner and fellow 2007 World Cup-winner Bakkies Botha off the bench along with New Zealand’s Naholo and Stephen Moore, Australia’s captain and a beaten World Cup finalist against the All Blacks at Twickenham last month.

It is to Twickenham where Cheika will take the Barbarians on Saturday as they continue their 125th anniversary celebrations with a non-cap international against World Cup semi-finalists Argentina.

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