Barbarians and Argentina share 12 tries at Twickenham


Barbarians 31 Argentina 49

The Barbarians and Argentina served up a fitting celebration of the famous invitation club’s 125th anniversary by sharing 12 tries at Twickenham.


The Barbarians greatest names - including Sir Gareth Edwards, JPR Williams and Derek Quinnell from the class of 1973 - were present to toast past and future successes.

Then they enjoyed 80 minutes of entertainment as both sides impressed in attack with World Cup semi finalists Argentina winning with a try-count of 7-5.

Wing Santiago Cordero - a Barbarian two years ago - touched down twice for the Pumas with Facundo Isa, Ramiro Moyano, Martin Landajo, Jeronimo de la Fuente and Nicolas Sanchez scoring their tries. Sanchez (6) and Emiliano Bofelli were immaculate from the kicking tee.

Michael Cheika’s Barbarians opened the scoring through Tevita Kuridrani with Waisake Naholo, Joe Tomane, Nemani Nadolo and captain Victor Matfield scoring. Nadolo (2) and Sopoaga kicked the conversions.

The final extra point attempt came from an unlikely source; Springbok giant Bakkies Botha was unsuccessful in his final act as a player after a rich career that saw him win 85 caps, a World Cup, Currie Cups, Super Rugby titles, the European Cup and the French Top 14.

The plan was for him to swap places with long-time partner but Victor Matfield persuaded his coach to let him stay on the field to pack down with his old mate one last time.

The Barbarians had brought together a squad of Southern Hemisphere stars including half-a-dozen World Cup finalists and a pack including South African heavyweights Matfield, Botha and young Lood de Jager.

Kuridrani opened the scoring after Sopoaga’s neat chip but the Pumas hit back with three scores of their own. Isa powered over from close range before Cordero scored his first, then laid on the third try for Moyano after the attacking Barbarians lost the ball.

Naholo fielded Sopoaga’s cross kick and stepped past onrushing defenders to narrow the gap but the Barbarians lost the ball just before the break and saw Cordero grab his second.

They stretched the lead again when Landajo and de la Fuente finished more attacks from deep but Tomane responded with a long break down the left and Fijian wing Nadolo closed the gap.

Sanchez eased any prospects of a late comeback by running back a loose offload but the Barbarians saved the best to last with a sustained attack that ended with Matfield’s try and Botha’s final act.

Barbarians: Nehe Milner-Skudder (Hurricanes & New Zealand); Waisake Naholo (Highlanders & New Zealand), Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies & Australia), Ryan Crotty (Crusaders & New Zealand), Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders & Fiji); Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders & New Zealand), Tawera Kerr Barlow (Chiefs & New Zealand); Thomas du Toit (Sharks), Stephen Moore (Brumbies & Australia), Charlie Faumuina (Blues & New Zealand), Lood de Jager (Cheetahs & South Africa), Victor Matfield (Northampton Saints & South Africa, captain), Scott Fardy (Brumbies & Australia), Ardie Savea (Hurricanes), Stephen Hoiles (Waratahs & Australia).

Replacements: James Hanson (Melbourne Rebels & Australia) for Moore 60, Jamie Mackintosh (Chiefs & New Zealand) for du Toit 60, Toby Smith (Melbourne Rebels & Australia) for Faumuina 60, Bakkies Botha (South Africa) for de Jager 66, Jarrad Butler (Brumbies) for Hoiles 57, Cobus Reinach (Sharks & South Africa) for Kerr-Barlow 51, Pat Lambie (Sharks & South Africa) for Crotty 51, Joe Tomane (Brumbies & Australia) for Kuridrani 57.

Scorers: Tries: Kuridrani, Naholo, Tomane, Nadolo, Matfield. Conversions: Nadolo 2, Sopoaga.

Argentina: Ramiro Moyano; Matías Moroni, Jerónimo De la Fuente, Santiago González Iglesias, Santiago Cordero; Nicolás Sánchez, Martín Landajo (captain); Lucas Noguera, Julián Montoya, Ramiro Herrera, Guido Petti Pagadizabal, Matías Alemanno, Pablo Matera, Javier Ortega Desio, Facundo Isa.

Replacements: Santiago Iglesias Valdez for Montoya 65, Santiago García Botta for Noguera 62, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro for Herrera 69, Tomas Lezana for Isa 62, Leonardo Senatore for Ortega Desio, Felipe Ezcurra for Landajo 66, Gabriel Ascarate for Gonzalez Iglesias 62, Emiliano Boffelli for Moyano 49.

Scorers: Tries: Cordero 2, Isa, Moyano, Landajo, de la Fuente, Sanchez. Conversions: Sanchez 6),  Bofelli.

Referee: JP Doyle (RFU). Attendance: 38,101.