young Australia down star studded Babaas
A dominant display from former All Blacks hardman Jerry Collins couldn't prevent Robbie Deans' young Wallabies as they beat a powerful Barbarians side 18-11 at Wembley.
The Baabaas, with four of the last five winners of the IRB Player of the Year award, were always going to be a tough ask for a Wallabies especially missing the likes of captain Stirling Mortlock, first five-eighth Matt Giteau and lock Nathan Sharpe at the end of their long tour north.
Dingo-Deans put faith in his rising stars - the likes of 20-year-old first five Quade Cooper, 18-year-old fullback James O'Connor and uncapped lock Peter Kimlin and the boys all took the chance well.
The Baabas had a Kiwi flavour and many of the world cup winning South African’s too, this though did not stop the Pacific Nations players and young blend of Australia as they man’d up in the defence and were scintillating on the counter attack.
Ryan Cross again showed he is a force on his own, his straight running, busting would be tacklers aside and then showing composure overload as he calmly kicked ahead to see come back man Lote Tuqiri gather & score a crucial try.
In the cruchtime rocks Schalk Berger and Collins challenged the Wallabies defensive line with might, to the credit though the Wallabies dug deep and repelled the giants. This alone will have a glee in Robbie Dean’s Christmas break, as he well knows he has instilled resilience in his lads.
For long periods play was in traditional Babaas have a crack style rugby, teams gave up the chance to kick at goal and had another launch at something more entertaining. Eventually tired men and sense kicked in and some penalties were traded and the score line was tight and the game tensed up.
The second half started with the superstars stretching their legs through a break down the right flank by Rokocoko and Habana. The movement nearly resulted in a McCaw try, but he was held up over the line.
Collins scored his try in the 61st minute after a poor clearance attempt by a young Wallabie behind the line, the conversion was missed and the Australia stayed in the hunt for the final 20 mins. The effort of the Aussies especially tireless George Smith stayed committed and strong, eventualy they stole the pill and secured a vital turnover that sealed the match. In a stunning counter attack & in-out run from Drew Mitchell the young man showed the wheels and put Lachie Turner clear on the outside to cap off a great night & even better win. Both these men excelled in the Pacific Nations Cup and tonight they where shining all over the international stage.
This match marking 100 years since the Olympic rugby final won by Australia over Great Britain in London, the Wallabies were awarded gold medals to mark their achievement today & now will fly home to the land downunder very happy and looking forward to a few bangers on the BBQ.