South African Barbarians . 15
IT WAS Mike Burton, the former England forward and now Gloucester's commercial manager, who got this tour off the ground after a visit to South Africa last year. The old prop would have been puffing in the opening fixture, though, even if he was puffed up with pride before the start at Kingsholm last night.
'They've only been off the plane a couple of days,' Burton said, 'but I think they'll be too strong for our boys.' And certainly there was nothing sheepish about these Baa- Baas, even allowing for the fact that they rested a good number of those from Transvaal and Natal who had been scrapping it out in last weekend's Currie Cup final.
The Barbarians are playing eight matches on their first tour abroad in eight years and included in their itinerary are games at Leicester, Northampton and Bristol. 'But the real test,' their manager, Perry Davies, said, 'is saved to last' - against Bath on 6 November.
Last night, meanwhile, they were facing the side who languish second from bottom in the First Division and Gloucester did them the compliment of fielding nine of the team beaten at home by London Irish earlier this month. Just as well, too, because the Springboks were lethal on the hoof.
And none more so than Francois Naude, an electric wing who set the evening alight before a large crowd with a superb run bravely halted by Chris Dee. It was Dee who then matched that with a 70-yard effort of his own, but Naude had much more to offer.
A chip-and-chase just on the half- hour saw him wipe out a penalty from Martyn Roberts. Then, after Dave Sims scored a try to give Gloucester the interval lead, Naude struck again following a penalty from Ashley Johnson.
Gloucester: Try Sims; Penalties Roberts, Johnson. South African Barbarians: Tries Naude 2; Conversion De Beer; Penalty De Beer.
Gloucester: M Roberts; P Holford, D Cummins, I Morgan, C Dee; A Johnson, B Fenley; P Jones (A Martin, 78), J Hawker, A Deacon, D Sims, R West, R Fowke, P Miles, I Smith (capt).
South African Barbarians: G Lawless (Western Province); F Naude (Northern Transvaal), M Linee (WP), D Muir (Natal, capt), E Meyer (Namibia); J De Beer (Orange Free State), K Putt (Natal); Jacobus Barnard (OFS), D van der Walt (NT), A Garvey (Zimbabwe), R Opperman (OFS), L Blom (WP), Johan Barnard (Namibia), G Combrink (Transvaal), K Otto (NT). Replacement: C Scholtz (WP) for Linee, h-t.
Referee: J Wallis (Bridgwater).Reuse content