Australia hold on to edge Barbarians

Australia kicked off their end of year tour under new coach Michael Cheika with a 36-40 victory over the Barbarians at Twickenham in London.

Australia’s Wallabies went into the match coming off two losses as they lost their last Rugby Championship match to Argentina and then their final Bledisloe Cup clash to New Zealand.

Having reunited the halves pairing of Quade Cooper and Will Genia, Cheika also
wrung some changes in the captaincy appointing back rower Matt Hodgson as his
first captain.

Genia and Cooper were responsible for sparking a backline that included Matt
Toomua and man of the match Tevita Kuridrani in the centre.

But it was the Barbarians who got the first and last tries of the day. Frank
Halai powered his way past the Aussies taking the home side 5-0 up. That try
seemed to have put the Wallabies to swords as they nearly allowed Halai to sneak
in another try two minutes later.

Australia tried to stretch the defence, sideline to sideline, as they pushed
forward going all out in search of the breakthrough and it duly came.

Sam Carter levelled matters in the 28th minute overcoming a knock on before
recalled Cooper converted to give them a 7-5 lead. It was game on.

Adam Thompson put the Barbarians back in the lead with a well executed try
but their lead didn’t last long as action see-sawed from one end to the
other.

Kuridrani, who had an impeccable game, was again involved in the build-up setting
up Benn Robinson for the Australians second try.

Cooper again converted leaving the score at 14-12 and that’s how it
remained until half time.

The big man Kuridrani continued the second half from where he left off in
the first beating his markers to score the second half’s first try.

Cooper, who was also having a brilliant game after his Brisbane City won the
Australian Buildcorp NRC Championship, converted cushioning the Wallabies 21-12.

Francis Saili, the most influential attacking back for the Barbarians, restored
parity a few minutes later with a try of his own in the 48th minute.

The Barbarians then took a 22-21 lead after 50th minute mark courtesy of an
accurate penalty kick by Colin Slade.

But the Wallabies were all out for a win and they took advantage of a turnover
when Nic White passed the ball to Rob Horn who scored an easy try in the corner
to take the Aussies 26-22 up. Replacement Bernard Foley failed to convert.

Foley made up for the earlier miss scoring and converting his try to give
the Wallabies a ten point lead. It was raining Aussie tries with the Barbarians
looking tired and disinterested in the game.

Sean McMahon scored yet another try, Foley converted, 40-22 it stood with less
than 10 minutes on the clock.

Nick Cummins and South African Golden Lions star, Marnitz Boshoff, had the
last Barbarians tries but they fell just short losing the match by four points.

Final Score Barbarians 36 (12) Australia 40 (14)

Scorers

Barbarians
Tries – Halai, Thomson, Saili, Cummins, Boshoff
Pen – Slade
Con – Slade (2), Boshoff (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Australia
Tries – Carter, Robinson, Kuridrani, Horne, Foley, McMahon
Pen –
Con – Cooper (3), Foley (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Teams

Barbarians

Tim Nanai Williams (Chiefs/NZL); Frank Halai (Blues/NZL), Juan de Jongh (Stormers/RSA), Francis Saili (Blues/NZL), Nick Cummins (West Red Sparks/AUS); Colin Slade (Crusaders/NZL), Tomas Cubelli (Belgrano/ARG); Steven Luatua (Blues/NZL), Matt Todd (Crusa

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