THE purists and those jaded by 10 days of spectacle celebrating the 50th anniversary of Paris's liberation may have expected more fireworks, but the French and British Barbarians still produced a stirring game last night.
The French started with some slick passing and David Campese and Philippe Sella put Patrice Lagisquet in for the first try after only two minutes. Their desire to run the ball, however, was hampered by a number of handling errors, and it took most of the first half before both teams came to terms with a slippery ball.
Campese, who promised his team-mates he would set the new Stade Charlety alight, brought the first real spark with a glorious 60- metre sprint down the touchline. The French scored from the ensuing five-metre scrum with William Jefferson, who had replaced Lagisquet, powering over to make the score 13-3 after 27 minutes.
Only now did things start to warm up. Jefferson scored again, Joubert replied almost immediately with a nifty blind-side try, then Denis Charvet, capped another fine French back-line movement to take the score to 23-10.
But it was the British Barbarians who produced the half's finest moment, with a superb 90-metre try initiated by Kyran Bracken, carried on by Nigel Walker and featuring Neil Back on three occasions before Joubert scored.
After the interval both sides started slowly and it was 15 minutes before the British scrum came under immense pressure. A piece of the old Charvet-Sella magic put France's 102-cap veteran over for a try under the post.
In this first meeting of the countries' respective Barbarians it was inevitable that both sides would suffer from a lack of cohesion. The flow of the game was further disrupted after 70 minutes when Jefferson suffered a broken leg.
French Barbarians: Tries: Lagisquet, Jefferson 2, Charvet, Sella, Gomez. Penalty: Charvet. Conversion: Charvet. Barbarians: Tries: Jaubert 2. Penalty: Jaubert. Conversion: Jaubert. Drop goal: Hull.
FRENCH BARBARIANS: D Campese (Randwick); E Ntamack (Toulouse), P Sella (Agen), P Bondouy (Narbonne), P Lagisquet (Biarritz, W Jefferson Racing 13; P Gomez Puc 70); D Charvet (Racing, capt), N Farr-Jones (Sydney Univ, F Galthie Colomiers 70); M Perie (Toulon), M Dal Maso (Agen), G Lascube (Biarrritz)), O Brouset (Grenoble), J Condom (Biarritz), G Kacala (Grenoble), L Rodriguez (Dax, R Gordon Colomiers 57), H-M Lhermet (Montferrand).
BARBARIANS: A Joubert (Natal); M Dods (Gala), D Hopley (Wasps), G Shiel (Melrose), N Walker (Cardiff); P Hull (Bristol), K Bracken (Bristol); C Lippert (USA), G Dawe (Bath), P Clohessy (Young Munster, C Clark Bath 23), C Tregaskis (Wellington, NZ), J Eales (Brothers, Brisbane), A Charron (Ottowa Irish), R Wainwright (West Hartlepool, capt, E Peters Bath 50), N Back (Leicester).
Referee: J Dume (France).Reuse content