Irish influence boosts Baa-Baas

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The Independent Online
East Midlands 19

Barbarians 56

Gary Halpin, the Ireland prop, scored thee tries as the Barbarians demolished East Midlands at Northampton yesterday.

Halpin is on the bench for Ireland's final Five Nations' Championship match in Cardiff but it was also a good day for the Irish front-row forwards after the hooker Terry Kingston's appointment as captain of his country for the first time against Wales next week.

The Irish influence in the Barbarians' success continued with the wing Niall Woods and the flanker Anthony Foley also among the tries and the discarded Irish stand-off, Paul Burke, giving a flawless display of goal- kicking by converting all eight tries.

The Barbarians' points total edged ahead of their average of 54 over the last seven years but they managed only two tries by half-time in a keenly contested match.

East Midlands had eight Northampton players in their team and as the home side's legs tired on the heavy pitch, the Barbarians doubled their score with four converted tries in the final quarter.

Halpin, 29, capped seven times, scored his side's first three tries, all from mass drives close to the line.

He only had to move around 10 feet for his hat-trick but his efforts earned £900 for youth rugby in England from the Barbarians sponsors, Scottish Amicable, which contribute £300 to that cause for every Barbarians try, the day's total being £2,400.

East Midlands' only first-half score was from the wing Craig Moir, and after Halpin finished his contribution in the 42nd minute, Barbarians led 21-7. Barbarians increased their lead when the wing Derek Stark showed his speed with a superb break for a try.

The flanker Paul Alston and the full-back Cameron Glanville added tries for East Midlands with Paul Grayson converting twice, but the Barbarians' final surge included two tries for the captain Phil De Glanville, and one each for Foley and Woods.

East Midlands: Tries Alston, Glanville, Moir; Conversions Grayshon 2. Barbarians: Tries Halpin 3, De Glanville 2, Foley, Stark, Woods; Conversions Burke 8.

EAST MIDLANDS: C Granville (Bedford); C Moir (Northampton), R MacNaughton (Northampton), B Weststone (Bedford), R Scubbriani (Bedford); P Grayson (Northampton), M Dawson (Northampton); M Volland (Northampton), D Frankland (Long Buckby), M Lewis (Northampton), M Upex (Bedford), S Foale (Northampton), I Skingsley (Bedford), G Seeley (Northampton), P Alston (Bedford, capt).

BARBARIANS: M Back (Bridgend and Wales); D Stark (Boroughmuir and Scotland), N Greenstock (Wasps), P De Glanville (Bath and England, capt), N Woods (Blackrock and Ireland); P Burke (Cork Constitution and Ireland), S Worrall (RAF); K Colcough (Swansea), S Byrne (Blackrock), G Halpin (London Irish and Ireland), J Richardson (Edinburgh Academics and Scotland), N Hadley (Wasps and Canada), R Appleyard (Swansea), A Foley (Shannon and Ireland), C Vyvyan (Sale).

Referee: J Fleming (Sco).