THE Barbarians scored the first try and claimed the first win against Samoa when rugby made its historic debut at the former Olympic Stadium.

The opening moments saw former All Black Adam Thomson touch down the first of two scores, Australia flanker Liam Gill was driven over from close range and Australia centre Ben Tapuai touched down two classy efforts with fellow Wallabies fly half Christian Leali’ifano adding a conversion.
Anthony Perenise, Ken Pisi and Jack Lam responded for the Islanders, who were preparing for their World Cup dates with South Africa, Scotland, the USA and Japan in September and October.
Samoa were handicapped by the sending off of Kane Thompson for striking hooker Saia Fainga’aa midway through the first half but stayed in the game in physical style while the Barbarians declined to kick at goal and didn’t finish off a handful of other decent chances.
Thomson struck in the second minute as he dummied and ploughed over from the back of a driven lineout but Samoa soon edged in front when Bristol prop drove over from close range with Tusi Pisi converting and adding a penalty after both sides were reduced to 14 men – Thompson sent off and Fainga’a sinbinned.
The Barbarians – fielding a starting line-up with a combined total of 455 caps – levelled when Gill was driven over and on the half-hour Tapuai produced some sparkling footwork to finish after scrum half Luke Burgess had scampered up the middle.
Ken Pisi’s try meant the scores were level at the interval but the Barbarians dominated the third quarter of the game to add two more scores.
Thomson’s second required a long look from the TMO as he twisted through a pair of tacklers to ground the ball and Tapuai’s second was a gem. Lively replacement No.8 Jacqes Potgeiter made the key break and the ball was zipped inside and out before the Western Force centre glided over.
Head coach Jamie Joseph felt his side put down a handful of decent chances to add to the try-count and certainly the commitment to kick for the corner – rather than at goal – meant the invitation side couldn’t open up an unassailable lead.
Jack Lam powered over under the posts to keep Samoa in it and Tim Nanai-Williams – impressive in the famous black and white shirt against Australia last year – was a constant threat from full back.
But the Barbarians continued to win key turnovers and hung on for an impressive win against a side that will trouble plenty of opponents in their World Cup group.
Barbarians: Paul Williams (Stade Francais & Samoa); Taqele Naiyaravoro (Glasgow Warriors), Ben Tapuai (Western Force & Australia), Wynand Olivier (Montpellier & South Africa), Dwayne Sweeney (Munakata Sanix Blues); Christian Leali’ifano (Brumbies & Australia), Luke Burgess (Zebre & Australia); Benn Robinson (Waratahs & Australia), Saia Fainga’a (Queensland Reds & Australia), Carl Hayman (New Zealand), Bakkies Botha (South Africa, Captain), Luke Jones (Melbourne Rebels), Adam Thomson (Queensland Reds & New Zealand), Liam Gill (Queensland Reds & Australia), Pierre Spies (Blue Bulls & South Africa). 
Replacements: Tolu Latu (Waratahs) for Fainga’a 55, Joshua Hohneck (Highlanders) for Hayman 55, Kyle Traynor (Bristol & Scotland) for Robinson 60, Ali Williams (New Zealand) for Botha 55, Jacques Potgieter (Munakata Sanix Blues & South Africa) for Spies 41, Nic Groom (Stormers) for Burgess 55, Mike Harris (Melbourne Rebels & Australia) for Williams 41, Tom English (Melbourne Rebels) for Sweeney 60.
Scorers: Tries: Thomson 2, Tapaul 2, Gill. Conversion: Leali’ifano.
Yellow card: Fainga’a 16.

Samoa: Tim Nanai-Williams; Faatoina Autagavaia, Paul Perez, Ken Pisi; Tusi Pisi, Kahn Fotuali’i; Zak Taulafo, Wayne Avei, Anthony Perenise, Teofilo Paulo, Kane Thompson, Mauri Fa’asavalu, Jack Lam, Ofisa Treviranus.

Replacements: Manu Leiataua, Viliamu Afatia, Jake Grey, Faifili Levave, Sanaele Avae Tuilagi, Vavao Afemai, Patrick Faa Pale, Johnny Leota.

Scorers: Tries: Perenise, Ken Pisi, Jack Lam. Conversions: K Pisi 2. Penalty: K Pisi.

Red card: Thompson 16. Yellow card: Faa Pale 75.

Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)