Wallabies enjoy 60-11 win over Barbarians
James O’Connor piloted Australia to a record 60-11 victory over a disappointing Barbarians outfit at Twickenham in the national team’s first match since the Rugby World Cup.
In his debut for the Wallabies at five-eighth, O’Connor led a fine display of running rugby in the eight tries to one win against the invitational team in west London.
O’Connor produced a sparkling performance, regularly stepping his way through the Barbarians even if he did throw a pass that was intercepted by Robbie Fruen deep in attack and made a hash of one try-scoring opportunity in the first half.
He was also good with the boot, landing eight from nine, while Digby Ioane, Lachie Turner and James Horwill all scored doubles.
Radike Samo and Rob Horne also scored tries.
English rugby league star Sam Tomkins touched down in the corner for the home team in the injury time.
Adam Ashley-Cooper was named man of the match, despite being sent to the sin bin.
After the Barbarians’ victories over New Zealand and South Africa over the past two years, a close match had been expected.
That Australia butchered three tries in the opening half reiterated the one-sided nature of the contest.
The Wallabies will face a much sterner test next against Wales in Cardiff next Saturday in a rematch of last month’s third place playoff at the World Cup.
The win in front of 51,112 fans improved Australia’s win-loss record against the Barbarians to 9-3 and eclipsed the previous record 55-7 win in Sydney in 2009.
O’Connor openedg the scoring with a penalty, a reassuring start following his troubles with the boot against England at the same ground last year.
Tomkins knocked on in his first touch in rugby union before Turner messed up a simple pass to Horne.
With the Australians camped on the Barbarians’ line, O’Connor had a moment to forget in the 14th minute when his pass was intercepted by Fruen.
Fullback Ashley-Cooper raced back to cover but was handed a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on.
Former Wallabies skipper Stirling Mortlock produced a bone-crunching hit on current Australia captain David Pocock in the 20th minute.
But there was little for fans of the Barbarians to cheer as the Wallabies pushed a 18-3 halftime lead out to an emphatic scoreline.
One concern coming out of the match for Australia was Berrick Barnes, who copped a nasty blow to the back in the opening half and was replaced before the break.© AAP 2014