Wednesday, May 30, 2012

England beat the Barbarians in high scoring Twickenham romp

Chris Ashton scored a hat-trick as England trounced the Barbarians 57-26 at Twickenham on Sunday afternoon. Last night the Barbarians bounced back, beating an Ireland XV 29-28 at Kingsholm in a tight game that was decided in the final few minutes.

England, who head to South Africa shortly for a far more demanding set of matches, had a good run out against an experienced Barbarians outfit. While many players were missing due to the Aviva Premiership final, coach Stuart Lancaster will have been satisfied with what he saw.

"I am pleased for Chris that he has got the three tries. His work rate off the ball is tremendous. Sometimes he can work and not get the off-loads but today he did and it is great," said Lancaster.

"Credit to him for working hard and getting the rewards. As a team we recognise areas we still want to improve and tighten up on but overall he and others did well. I am pleased."

Last night's Barbarians game against an Ireland XV wasn't televised unfortunately, but it was a much closer affair than the England romp. Felipe Contepomi kicked a late penalty to snatch the win.

Ireland's coach Declan Kidney said they were disappointed, especially ahead of their gruelling tour of New Zealand, but acknowledged that the Barbarians were a much improved outfit.

"We didn't have a full deck of cards but it was a brilliant opportunity for some of our fringe players."

Kidney will name his Ireland squad for the New Zealand tour on Wednesday.

The Barbarians face Wales next, in yet another Shane Williams farewell match. He will be playing against his country though, and coach John Kirwan says all the focus will be on the star winger.

"The game is all about Shane Williams. It will be his last ever match playing against Wales at the Millennium Stadium. All the squad want to play and it's a question of picking the right team."

Below are highlights of the England vs Barbarians match for those that missed it. We've also archived the full match, which you can view here.

Posted by Rugbydump at 5:01 am | View Comments (21)

Viewing 21 comments

Nick May 30, 2012 7:52 am

A win's a win, but an international team with real intent shouldn't be conceding that many tries to a team that has hardly any training time together.

Still, some promising attacking moves, and it's hard not to be excited about a prospect like Christian Wade. For the sake of little men in rugby, let's hope he amounts to something.

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Guest May 30, 2012 8:24 am

Tom Johnson was fairly useful, liking the look of Jonathan Joseph as well, we need someone with pace in the midfield. Lets hope Christian Wade becomes the player we want him to be!

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xxxwookie May 30, 2012 5:06 pm

I'm a little dubious about the big talk of Wade. He's looking a lot like a poor man's Tom Varndell (and that's saying something). His eventual try was a 5 m run-in, but for all the talk of his speed, he has nothing to go with it, no side step, no crash ball. In defence he looked more a liability than a use.

All in all though, (and considering that the Baa-Baas side is scratch and not always going to be huge), the game was in the spirit of a Baa-Baas game, aside from 2 early attempts at goal. There was free running and that will always result in conceding tries. It's a very different thing to real rugby though and that is a hard fought physical grind and it will be interesting to see how it goes. I liked Chris Ashton's first try - reminiscent of his work off Youngs and Flood where they draw the defenders and Ashton comes in off his wing. This has been absent as long as his international try-drought.

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TechnoMouse May 30, 2012 5:25 pm

Watch 4:45 and tell me Wade doesn't have a good step! I do agree though, defensively we haven't seen much of him yet... but he is only 21 so has plenty of time to improve.

And second the Ashton notion, glad to see him back to his old self, with seemingly a bit more maturity as well bearing in mind he said he's ditched the Ash Splash. Looking forward to a cracking tour of SA!

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xxxwookie May 31, 2012 10:38 am

it was a step, but when attacking 3 on 1, you don't have to do much. The defender's watching for the pass left.

I'm just not convinced yet to be honest. The only good running I've seen him do is in massive open spaces and he has pace, but pace isn't enough in the 15 man game. I've heard people comparing him to Jason Robinson though and he's far from that.

My concern is, he threw the ball into someone's hands for Baa-baas' first try and he ran way out of the line as the last man on touch to nothing (not on this video). He didn't tackle, he just ran past the ball carriers. Defensively, I thought he had a shocker and his attacking was just okay., better than only having 14 men.

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cool calm and collected May 30, 2012 8:20 pm

'Wade doesn have a good step' is tht a joke!? the guy is electric, look at his tries on youtube, then tell me that he doesnt have a good step. He is chosen in the squd because of his abilty to elude defenses, something which the english team has not had on the wing for a VERY long time.

England team for the first test against SA:

1. Corbisero
2. Hartley
3. Cole
4. Botha
5. Parling
6. Johnson
7. Robshaw (c)
8. Morgan
9. Dickson
10. Farrell
11. Monye
12. Joseph
13. Tuilangi
14. Ashton
15. Foden

16. Marler
17. Mears
18. Palmer
19. Youngs
20. Hodgson
21. Wade
22. Brown

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Pretzel May 30, 2012 11:00 pm

Lawes not playing/injured? Is he still rated? Seems like the bloke has been out longer than he has been in, there was a bit of talk about him then I am sure I only saw him in an England shirt for a couple games and thats it...

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cool calm and collected May 31, 2012 11:58 am

Lawes is currently injured after returning to play for eng vs wal in the six nations a liitle too early after an injury he sustained earlier that year, repeated itself (i think).
If he was able to play,he would be straight into the xv for SA. In my opinion he should pair up with Richie Gray for the lions vs AUS starting xv.

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dave May 31, 2012 12:06 am

I wouldn't start joseph, tossing him to the springboks in his first real test is a bad idea, they're definitly going to get Barrett starting because defense is more important than offense against a team like the springboks, everything else looks pretty good though, I'd like to see Haskell and Robshaw both starting, that would be brutal for the opposite teams number 9 and 10

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cool calm and collected May 31, 2012 12:02 pm

I do agree that putting joseph in is a risk, but he would give england that xfactor in atttack, something that brad barritt has not done since putting on the england jersey.
The only prob with startig haskelll and robshaw is that they both play 7.

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j8a1f3 May 31, 2012 2:59 pm

I'd probably make room for Haskell on the bench, he's pretty handy since he can slot in anywhere in the back row.

Would like to see Joseph get a game out there but I see Lancaster going for 10 Hodgson, 12 Farrell, Tuilangi/Barritt, just out of consistency as much as anything.

Also interested to see how Joe Marler gets on playing on the big stage. For all the talk of Christian Wade, I think he's probably a more exciting prospect

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dave May 31, 2012 11:55 pm

yeah joseph does have attacking skills but can his attacking game negate or surpass his unproven test level defence? that's why I think lancaster would go with barritt, or maybe start/sub flood in at centre to create more offense with tuilagi, I wonder how flood and farrell would play together?
I think haskell and robshaw could both start together, I've seen Robshaw play 6 for Harlequins and Haskell is versatile, I'm pretty sure he can play all backrow positions, I even remember heaing dallaglio say he has the potential to be the best number 8 in the world

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xxxwookie May 31, 2012 10:40 am

I'd argue to be honest that Youngs and Flood do a very good job of eluding defences. Drawing a man, or dummying was looking sublime last year and Ashton off the shoulder was awesome

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cool calm and collected May 31, 2012 4:52 pm

The abilty to elude defenses is 'something the england team has no had on the WING for a long time'
I am not qusetioning the abiltiy of the rest of the backs just the wings, beacsue although ashton is great and is the best choice wing (14) at present, he is a poacher and a finisher not a creater like wade is, and lets be honest the only other wings available for the 11 shirt are monye and strettle, both of which are not creaters either. Therfore proving my point.

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Different Dave May 31, 2012 2:45 am

Ashton....yah looks like he's a changed man, all 'mature' just touching the ball down. But then, breakout down the sideline, 3.23, and he's unable to contain his inner twat. Watch him look directly into the camera already celebrating just before he realises 'shit not going to score'.

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Askelkana May 31, 2012 7:53 am

I'm no fan of Ashton, but you're interpreting a half-second glance into the camera as showing off? And if he happens to be smiling, what's wrong with him enjoying his game?

And if the guy has actually decided to throw off the total pillock approach then kudos to him I say.

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Bolimikura June 02, 2012 2:39 am

No, he's doing the same stupid grin he did when he scored that long range try against Australia. It wouldn't be so bad if he was home free, but he should clearly be looking at the defence coming over across to cover him, not gurning for the cameras.

He almost fucked it up and I actually wish he had, that bath player who celebrated before getting superbly tackled by varndell really looked like a dick

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MisterDavid May 31, 2012 8:10 am

Owen Farrell looked absolutely shot in this match - jaded and weary, particularly when playing at centre - not sure a Springbok tour is really what he needs just now. He might get squashed, but he can probably take it.

Wade was excellent throughout, as was Johnson; nice to see Joseph getting a decent run too (a centre who can step!). Encouraging for the future and strength in depth, but we'll need a much better/more cohesive pack performance to compete in SA.

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alexxx74 May 31, 2012 1:49 pm

i love barbarians

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granite668 June 01, 2012 2:17 pm

Good win to England, hopefully they can continue to get the ball out to their wingers...

Regarding the Barbarians, it seems to be a fairly... old squad. Is it normally this way? I know you're not always going to get the top players in the world, but having Mils, Tindal, John Smit, Paul Sackey, Laulala, Chisholm, Balshaw, van Zyl, Ernst Joubert all over 30 and in your starting XV, seems like it would always be hard to compete with a proper international side. (NB: I've no idea if this was a full strength English side).

Looks like it would have been a good game to attend, though. Which IMHO is the whole point of Barbarians rugby.

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