New dad Barnes caps memorable 24 hours
Wallabies five-eighth Berrick Barnes had three unforgettable reasons to raise a glass after his team’s Test victory over Wales in Melbourne.
Barnes can toast the birth of his first child – a son, Archie – a man-of-the-match performance and a 25-23 series-clinching win against the Six Nations champions.
The 25-year-old almost missed the Etihad Stadium game when he rushed home to Sydney late on Friday to be with his wife Bec as she gave birth.
He arrived back in Melbourne at 6.30pm, just before kick-off.
The new dad set up with Wallabies’ only try of the match, just before halftime when made a break and he threw a superb dummy before off-loading to his centre Rob Horne.
He also added 17 points through five penalties from six attempts and a conversion before being replaced by match-winner Mike Harris with seven minutes remaining.
It could have all ended differently but for Harris’ successful penalty strike after the fulltime siren.
Just before leaving the field Barnes had the chance to put his side back in front but missed a relatively easy penalty kick.
It was his first miss of the night as he finished with a personal haul of 17 points – five penalties and one conversion.
Barnes said the baby arrived almost six weeks early but his wife and son were healthy.
“He’s breathing on his own now and feeding,” Barnes said.
“It’s exciting and I’m very proud.
“I love playing for my country, it’s a great honour but it’s something that doesn’t happen very often in your life.
“It’s something I’ll remember.”
Australian coach Robbie Deans said he would have given Barnes every chance to play.
“In my rugby (played) in the country you could walk in five minutes before,” he said.
“It was always going to be Berrick’s call.”© AAP 2013
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