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Baa Baas v Wallabies – lambs to the slaughterhouse



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    Even watching the Wallabies – Barbarians clash from over sixteen thousand kilometres away, you could feel the immense sense of relief from the majority of the fifty thousand strong crowd at Twickenham after referee Romain Poite blew his whistle for full time.

    The Wallabies had just inflicted one of the heaviest, and most embarassing, defeats on the Barbarians with an eight tries to one rout.

    At a quick glance at the experienced, but ageing, line-up of the Barbarians, there was optimism they would provide Robbie Deans and the Wallabies a stern test.

    Put simply, the Barbarians outfit was a disgrace.

    Watching O’Connor and co. slice their way through the crumbling Baa Baas defence reminded me of watching Australia pummel Namibia at the 2003 World Cup.

    It was painful to watch and the groans from the crowd grew louder with each Wallabies try.

    One has to wonder why coach Graham Henry selected five All Blacks players, who were all at the World Cup, for this match. As Sky Sports commentator Stuart Barnes remarked, these five players had achieved the “rugby equivalent of climbing Mount Everest”.

    Even a World Cup-winning coach like Henry couldn’t possibly motivate these players to perform after achieving such a monumental feat in New Zealand less than a month ago.

    And then there were the other veterans (Perugini, Shaw, White, Rabeni, Bortolami, Stringer) who were simply out-run, out-muscled and out-enthused by a full-strength Wallabies team.

    These players all passed their peaks a long time ago and should never have been selected for the Barbarians in 2011.

    From the wreckage that was this Barbarians match, only a handful of players (Matfield, Mortlock, Tomkins, Kahui) emerged with their reputations unscathed.

    For the Barbarians to be competitive in future fixtures, they must somehow negotiate the top players to be given a one-week release by their professional clubs in Europe.

    If not, the Barbarians coach must hand out his invitations wisely, even selecting a few players from the so-called ‘minnow’ nations who don’t play in the top-tier leagues.

    Players that immediately spring to mind include Todd Clever (USA), Denis Simplikevich (Russia) and Michael Leitch (Japan). They would relish the opportunity and play their hearts out, guaranteed.

    The next Barbarians coach must not only respect the opposition, but the Barbarians itself, and field a side that won’t get ripped to shreds.

    For on the weekend there was no passion. No commitment. No resistance.

    Indeed they were like lambs sent to the slaughterhouse.

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    The Crowd Says (35)

    • November 28th 2011 @ 9:17am
      Mike said | November 28th 2011 @ 9:17am | ! Report

      “Players that immediately spring to mind include Todd Clever (USA), Denis Simplikevich (Russia) and Michael Leitch (Japan). They would relish the opportunity and play their hearts out, guaranteed.”

      Its not a bad idea. It would certainly generate a lot of interest, and their national teams would be glad of the exposure also.

    • November 28th 2011 @ 11:03am
      Jock M said | November 28th 2011 @ 11:03am | ! Report

      Seems like the Barbarians is the latest casualty of the professional era.
      No money no play.
      The money men told us that money would make no difference!

      • November 28th 2011 @ 11:17am
        Bakkies said | November 28th 2011 @ 11:17am | ! Report

        Toeava was atrocious. Cipriani had no real game time since June.

        A strange outcome since their recent wins against the ABs and South Africa.

        • November 28th 2011 @ 12:20pm
          SAMURAI said | November 28th 2011 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

          I didn’t watch those two games but maybe they had a much stronger side back then, and it wasn’t staged right after a World Cup?

          • November 29th 2011 @ 11:45am
            Bakkies said | November 29th 2011 @ 11:45am | ! Report

            They played the Boks after the 2007 RWC and beat them convincingly. They seem to play better with a few Aussie players. Giteau would have given them more spark.

      • November 28th 2011 @ 12:44pm
        Justin said | November 28th 2011 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

        Where do you get this rubbish from? One result? Have you even bothered to check the results of Baa Baa matches against international sides over the past few years.

        Some people have no idea…

    • November 28th 2011 @ 11:07am
      mace 22 said | November 28th 2011 @ 11:07am | ! Report

      If they had picked all their players from the so called secound tier nations, they would have had more heart than the lot that ran out on saturday. The only ones that gave any sign that they wanted to be their were the ones mentioned above (matfield, kahui, tomkins and mortlock ). Not a fitting way to send off one of the best locks of the proffesional era..

      • November 28th 2011 @ 11:16am
        Mike said | November 28th 2011 @ 11:16am | ! Report


    • November 28th 2011 @ 11:45am
      Warren said | November 28th 2011 @ 11:45am | ! Report

      Agree Samurai and all above. Does anyone here know why Tomkins was selcted? Is he about to defect to Union?

      • November 28th 2011 @ 12:03pm
        Mike said | November 28th 2011 @ 12:03pm | ! Report


        There has been much *speculation* that Tomkins is about to defect, but no hard evidence. Tomkins went out of his way to state before the game that he has just signed a 3-year contract with Wigan, intends to honour it, and has no particular intention to play rugby.

        I think we should take it at face value. A Barbarians team traditionally includes at least one uncapped player, and this is not the first time they have picked someone across code. Tomkins seems to have treated it as an interesting experience, and as an honour.

        He played as well as he could and respected the traditions of the very exclusive club that invited him. Some rugby players could learn from his example.

        • November 28th 2011 @ 12:22pm
          Warren said | November 28th 2011 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

          Thanks Mike. I agree that Tomkins was one of the more committed Barbarians on Sat night and he seems to have a good attitude. However, it would have been nice to see an uncapped Union player selected.

    • November 28th 2011 @ 11:46am
      Scotty said | November 28th 2011 @ 11:46am | ! Report

      The Beeb had a list of the last fixtures Wallabies vs BaaBaas and there have been quite a few thumpings handed out by the Wallabies in the professional era. Maybe the scratch team nature of them plays right into our traditional strengths – defence and fast clinical backs? I’ll always support the Barabarians concept, and like you guys think the time has come to cast the net a little wider and invite players who will give thier all on the day, and in the Barbarians (running) spirit.

      • November 28th 2011 @ 11:50am
        Bakkies said | November 28th 2011 @ 11:50am | ! Report

        That Barbarians side would have ran the Boks close. Don’t forget lads that there was a full fixture list in the AP, Pro 12, Pro D2 and Top 14. A lot of tier 2 players play in the Pro D2 and Top 14 and wouldn’t get releases

    • November 28th 2011 @ 12:01pm
      Nathan of Perth said | November 28th 2011 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

      “Todd Clever (USA)” <– Reckoned that guy had tremendous presence. I'm not full bottle on how much quality he has but I think he's a great ambassador for the game in the US, has the right sort of presence.

      • November 28th 2011 @ 12:15pm
        Bakkies said | November 28th 2011 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

        and wasting his talent by leaving the Lions to play in Japan. Should be playing in Europe at least

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