Barbarians 22 – 31 New Zealand

Vaea Fifita dives over for the All Blacks Getty

Barbarians 22 – 31 New Zealand

A strong second half showing by the All Blacks ensured they clinched victory, despite a sloppy display.

Barbarians 22 – 31 New Zealand

Vaea Fifita dives over for the All Blacks Getty

Kwagga Smith’s heroics were not enough to guide the Barbarians to a victory against New Zealand, as the world champions got a grip on the game to win 31-22 in their game at Twickenham on Saturday.

The uncapped Smith came with the goods – his sevens skills fitting snuggly into the traditional Barbarians style – as he was named Man of the Match, despite ending up on the losing side.

Robbie Deans’ Kiwi-laden side lead for most of the game as the All Blacks struggled to build any sort of momentum in the London rain. The world number one team put up a sloppy display, littered with misdirected passes and sloppy handling.

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It was a Kiwi who crossed the whitewash first – but for the Barbarians – as Richie Mo’unga was sent through to dot down in the far corner by countryman Andy Ellis in the eight minute. He failed to convert his own try, but the BaaBaas were soon on the board again through George Bridge, who finished things off after a Steven Luatua intercept.

The All Blacks found themselves trailing 10-0 within the first 15 minutes but managed to put some decent phases together, leading to scrumhalf TJ Perenara crashing over in the corner for their first points of the game. This was followed up by the third consecutive unsuccessful conversion, courtesy of Lima Sopoaga this time around.

Ellis was again instrumental in another try as his kick tap and go sent Sam Carter over the line for the first converted try of the match, taking the score to 17-5.

The All Blacks responded with a try from Vaea Fifita just before the break, with captain Beauden Barritt missing the conversion.

The world champions were more assure in the second half, with centre Ngani Laumape providing the first try of the half before having a hand in the second, which put them in front for the first time in the game.

Hooker, Nathan Harris soon extended the lead to 14 points as his try took the score to 31-17.

Right on the final whistle, a typically Barbarians move put some respectability on the scoreline as George Bridge went over the line for his second try of the match.

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