Rugby Union: Bath get the boot

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Bath. . . . . . 23

SA Barbarians. .34

THE South African Barbarians routed England's best to finish their British tour unbeaten. Saving the toughest nut until last, they shattered an unusually soft Bath side for their seventh and final win of the campaign.

But it was a flawed triumph with the misnamed Recreation Ground occasionally resembling a battlefield. The Prop Toks van der Linde was sent off for stamping after a string of warnings from the referee.

All the same, a tally of four tries brought the kind of drubbing the best in English rugby are barely used to. And it left a clear marker of the strength of South African rugby as it builds - politics permitting - towards the World Cup in 1995.

It was a victory in the proven style of South African rugby, built on mountainous forwards and hard-running backs linked by a mercurial scrum-half - no frills but no mistakes either.

English eyes would have been heartened only by the sight of Jeremy Guscott back to full fitness if not quite in full flight, offering just an occasional hint of genius.

The Bath forwards, even mighty Ben Clarke, were well contained. The old warrior Gareth Chilcott had a laborious passage, albeit only a week from his last league game.

But the real gap was at outside-half. With Stuart Barnes absent at a grander event, Craig Raymond failed to fill his boots. The same control was not there.

Only in the last 10 minutes did Bath come alight as the West Country gloom descended. The pack finally moved into a higher gear and took the game to the Barbarian line. First, Tony Swift scythed through just after the South African had been sent off. Then, from the restart, the pack surged back, Clarke bullocking over. But it was all too late.

Bath: A Lumsden; T Swift, J Bamsey, J Guscott, M Lloyd; C Raymond, R Hill; D Hilton, D Beddow, G Chilcott (capt), M Haag, A Reed, G Adams, B Clarke, D Egerton.

South African Barbarians: G Lawless; S Naude, J Mulder, C Scholtz, P Hendriks; J de Beer (D Muir, 65 min), J Roux; T Van der Linde, H Roberts, A Garvey, R Opperman, P Schutte, R Straueli, D Lotter, A Blakeway (capt).

Referee: M Bayliss (Gloucester).

Scores: Hendricks/de Beer (try/conv, 8 min 0-7); Raymond (pen, 11 min, 3-7); de Beer (pen, 22 min, 3-10), Raymond (pen, 26 min, 6-10); Naude/de Beer (try/conv, 30 min, 6- 17), Raymond (pen, 37 min, 9-17); Straueli/de Beer (try/conv, 48 min, 9-24); Scholtz/de Beer (try/conv, 55 min, 9-31); Swift/Raymond (try/conv, 77 min, 16-31); Clarke/Raymond (try/conv, 80 min, 23-31); Lawless (pen, 84 min, 23-34).