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England v Barbarians highlights from 2017

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Worcester Warriors 35 Barbarians 43

Warriors suffered a narrow pre-season defeat at the hands of an experienced Barbarians side after an enthralling game at Sixways. (Report borrows from the Worcester Warrioris website).

Barbarians winger Dom Shipperley was the star of the show for the visitors as he racked-up a hat-trick but it was a day for rugby enthusiasts as supporters witnessed the world-famous invitation side in front of their very eyes.

Phil Dowson opened the scoring with a debut try before the Barbarians raced to a lead courtesy of tries from Benn Robinson, Shipperley and Todd Clever.

Cooper Vuna narrowed the deficit before Shipperley went over for his second to give his side a 28-14 lead at the break.

Val Rapava Ruskin pulled another try back for Warriors before Shipperley rounded off his hat-trick to give Warriors an almost impossible task of claiming victory.

Ben Howard and Ravai Fatiaki went over for late tries for the hosts but Mike Harris' late penalty won the game for the visitors.

Dean Ryan handed starting debuts to five of his new recruits as Tom Heathcote, Luke Baldwin, Na'ama Leleimalefaga, Phil Dowson and Carl Kirwan were all named in the line-up, while Andy Short made his second debut for the Club following his return from Bristol.

With the West Stand facilities undergoing major redevelopment work, the players entered the pitch from the North West corner to the roar of the Sixways crowd. Warriors supporters were witnessing their side in action for the first time in over three months and the match began in intense fashion as both sides looked to attack.

It was Warriors who took the lead inside the first five minutes after good work from Heathcote and Short.

The centre nearly went over himself before the ball was switched to the right for Pennell to tee-up Dowson for the opener.

Heathcote converted before Short was replaced by Howard following a knock.

The Barbarians were soon in the ascendency at the other end as they looked to make their mark on the game and they soon scored a try of their own as prop Robinson touched down following a driving lineout.

The Barbarians' array of international talent were proving a real handful for the Warriors defence and the visitors took the lead as Ben Tapuai intercepted a loose Ryan Mills pass before offloading to Shipperley, who raced away to ground in the corner.

Warriors looked to assert themselves at the other end of the field but they were struggling to halt the barrage of Barbarians attacks.

And Carlos Spencer's men went over for a third try midway through the first-half as flanker Clever bundled his way over from close range.

Harris converted for the third time to give his side a 21-7 lead as the Sixways crowd were treated to a spectacle of entertaining rugby.

Warriors began to get a feel for the game as Howard raced down the right before offloading to Pennell, before Max Stelling was eventually halted.

And Ryan's men were rewarded with their second try following a lineout just inside their opponent's half.

Darren O'Shea claimed the ball before feeding Luke Baldwin, who set-up Heathcote to break through the centre.

With the tryline gaping, the former Bath man played in Vuna, who strolled through to touch down.

The scoring didn't stop there as the visitors had the last say of the half as Shipperley raced through the Warriors defence for a sensational solo try before Harris made it four kicks from four to give his side the upper hand at the break.

Warriors started the second period on the front foot and cut the deficit once again as Rapava Ruskin grounded following good work from the forward pack.

But that only seemed to spur the visitors on further and they went over for a quick-fire double moments later.

Full-back Sweeney finished off a sweeping move on the right before winger Shipperley raced through for his hat-trick on the 50-minute mark.

Warriors continued to battle and scored their fourth try of the afternoon courtesy of Howard, who raced 30 metres to the tryline after Charlie Mulchrone had taken a quick tap-and-go penalty.

Heathcote's conversion cut the Barbarians' lead to 40-28 before Howard and Stelling both raised the crowd to their feet as they raced down either touchline to put pressure on the visitors.

Warriors continued to look for a way back into the game and went over for another try courtesy of Fatiaki as the game entered its final ten minutes.

The visitors looked to turn the game on its head in the final stages but a late Harris penalty secured the victory for the Barbarians.

Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Andy Short (Howard 6), 13 Max Stelling, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Luke Baldwin (Mulchrone 53); 1 Na'ama Leleimalefaga (Rapava Ruskin 40), 2 Dan George, 3 Joe Rees (Daniels 14), 4 Dan Sanderson (Hewitt 53), 5 Darren O'Shea, 6 Matt Cox, 7 Carl Kirwan (Mama 40), 8 Phil Dowson (c)

Replacements: 16 Ben Sowrey, 17 Val Rapava Ruskin, 18 Mike Daniels, 19 Charlie Hewitt, 20 Marco Mama, 21 Charlie Mulchrone, 22 Ravai Fatiaki, 23 Ben Howard

Timeline:
5m: Dowson try 5-0
6m: Heathcote con 7-0
10m: Robinson try 7-5
11m: Harris con 7-7
17m: Shipperley try 7-12
18m: Harris con 7-14
22m: Clever try 7-19
23m: Harris con 7-21
32m: Vuna try 12-21
33m: Heathcote con 14-21
40m: Shipperley try 14-26
40m: Harris con 14-28
43m: Rapava Ruskin try 19-28
44m: Heathcote con 21-28
47m: Sweeney try 21-33
48m: Harris con 21-35
50m: Shipperley try 21-40
57m: Howard try 26-40
58m: Heathcote con 28-40
71m: Fatiaki try 33-40
72m: Heathcote con 35-40
77m: Harris pen 35-43