The 2017-18 season was a stellar one for the Barbarians — one of the club’s greatest, packed full of highlights — and we’re showcasing each of the matches. Game two was the thriller against Australia in Sydney in October last year.

Last season the Baa-baas scored 36 tries in seven games, ran up a record victory against England, launched their first ever women’s team, and produced some thrilling attacking rugby against New Zealand and Australia.

It was Australia who were opponents number two for the Barbarians under Alan Jones after a warm-up win against the Classic Wallabies in Lismore.

Former Wallabies coach Jones was delighted with the team at their counter-attacking best as Taqele Naiyaravoro scored twice with Andrew Ready and Tom Banks also touching down and Quade Cooper adding four conversions.



Taqele Naiyaravoro terrorised Australia’s defence in Sydney

They led by four points going into the last 10 minutes but lost Naiyaravoro and Cooper to the sin-bin and conceded the decisive score when former Wallabies captain Stephen Moore was driven over seven minutes from time.

Fly half Duncan Paia’aua touched down twice for Australia with wing Henry Speight and flanker Jack Dempsey scoring either side of half time.

Captain Cooper had looked completely at home in the famous Barbarians’ jersey and opened up the Wallabies with a great piece of skill 15 minutes from time.

Just outside his own 22 and with his passing options blocked, he improvised a chip out wide to Banks, who flew down the right and put Naiyaravoro away for his second.

Quade Cooper

Quade Cooper excelled in the role of captain and playmaker

They couldn’t hold on to the advantage, though, once Naiyaravoro was yellow-carded and Cooper followed him off the field after a high challenge on Israel Folau that he couldn’t quite bail out of in time.

Australia made the two-man advantage pay when Stephen Moore scored in his final appearance at home in the green and gold but even with 13 the Barbarians kept on threatening until the final whistle.

Barbarians: Tim Nanai-Williams (Chiefs & Samoa); Tom Banks (Brumbies), Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs & Australia), George Moala (Blues & New Zealand), Eto Nabuli (Reds & Australia); Quade Cooper (Reds & Australia, captain), Augustine Pulu (Blues & New Zealand); Pekahou Cowan (Force & Australia), Andrew Ready (Reds), Taniela Tupou (Reds), Luke Jones (Bordeaux Begles & Australia), Sam Carter (Brumbies & Australia), Isi Naisarani (Force), Matt Hodgson (Force & Australia, vice-captain), Wycliff Palu (Toyota Verblitz & Australia).

Replacements: Anaru Rangi (Force), Ben Alexander (Brumbies & Australia), Salesi Manu (Bond), Matt Philip (Force), Kane Koteka (Force), Theo Strang (Sydney University), Sam Greene (Toyota Industries Shuttles), Andrew Kellaway (Waratahs).