Rugby Union: Baa-Baas' blow-out victory

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The Independent Online
East Midlands. .59

Barbarians. . .77

SANDWICHED between international and league Saturdays, this latest Mobbs Memorial Match was enough to give everyone galloping indigestion. Yesterday's fare saw a record win for the Barbarians in the fixture, which dates back to 1921. A total of 136 points were clocked up, 22 tries scored and pounds 3,900 donated to English youth rugby.

As a colleague remarked: 'There are rather too many being ushered through holes than clogged', though the 4,000 at Franklin's Gardens did not appear to object to what was but a passing shadow of the real game.

What Edgar Mobbs, the Northampton and England captain who died at Passchendaele during the First World War, would have made of the latest action, heaven knows. Here, prisoners were being taken and as Fred Howard, the referee, said: 'When did you last see the losing side score 59 points?' To which there was no answer.

Those present had only 40 minutes of Rupert Moon and Adrian Davies in harness at half-back, a partnership being talked up in Wales with the team to face France in Paris on Saturday week due out tomorrow. Suffice to say, there was little to make of the exercise.

Even then, Davies took the precaution of taking himself off at half-time having suffered a calf injury, leaving Richard Moon to play alongside his brother for the first time. Both troubled the scorers, as they say, though not quite so much as Simon Geoghegan. The Irish wing ran in four tries and generously gave up a fifth which would have equalled another Baa-Baas record shared by David Duckham, Peter Thompson and Cyril Holmes. Ah well, you cannot have it all.

East Midlands: Tries Ward, MacNaughton 2, Pask, Alston, Wilkinson, Shelford, Penalty try, Webster; Conversions Tubb 6, Mansell. Barbarians: Tries Woodland, Geoghegan 4, Hunter, Rodber, Packman, Adamson, Wallace 2, Back, Richard Moon; Conversions Davies 2, Packman, Rupert Moon 3.

EAST MIDLANDS: J Wilkinson (Ampthill); J Chandler (Bedford), S Glover (Rugby), R MacNaughton (Northampton), B Ward (Northampton); S Tubb (Northampton), D Elkington (Northampton); L Mansell (Bedford), M Howe (Bedford), C Allen (Northampton), G Webster (Northampton), J Etheridge (Northampton), P Alston (Bedford), W Shelford (Northampton), P Pask (Northampton, capt). Replacements: S Foale (Northampton) for Etheridge, h/t; S Webster (Northampton) for Glover, 53.

BARBARIANS: I Hunter (Northampton); S Geoghegan (London Irish), F Packman (Northampton), H Woodland (Neath), R Wallace (Garryowen); A Davies (Cardiff), Rupert Moon (Llanelli, capt); M Linnett (Moseley), N Meek (Pontypool), H Williams-Jones (South Wales Police), S Lloyd (Moseley), L Adamson (Saracens), T Rodber (Northampton), G Weir (Melrose), N Back (Leicester). Replacement: Richard Moon (Rosslyn Park) for Davies, h/t.

Referee: F Howard (Liverpool Society).

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