Rugby Union: Sheer class from young Baa-Baas: Cornwall beaten but unbowed

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The Independent Online
Cornwall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

South African Barbarians. . . . . . . . . . . . .44

VERY soon, tours like this one by the South African Baa-Baas will become commonplace, but for now they have the novelty value of simply being here as much as of the liberated brand of rugby they have espoused in winning all seven of their matches.

They have been scoring at an average of 37 points and, if they did not make so many handling errors nor prompt the continual ire of referees, it would be many more. They conclude at Bath on Saturday, which would have been a fitting finale had the English champions not been undermined by the cause of England's A and Under-21 sides.

Still, it has been a worthwhile, entertaining exercise and we may see a number of these young players back with South Africa in Wales and Ireland next autumn. At their less exalted level, the Barbarians have already managed to do what the Springboks have not: successfully combined huge forwards of a typically South African kind with backs unencumbered by the dictates of hidebound coaching.

Yesterday at Redruth they went off at a sprint with tries by Thinus Linee and Gavin Lawless inside five minutes but, after adding another by the Leicester-born Simon Berridge, later slowed to a crawl when Tony Sparks was hammering them for every indiscretion.

Cornwall plugged away while Sparks was whistling, Darren Chapman landing four penalties. But eventually the Baa-Baas accelerated again with further tries by Berridge, Linee and Rudi Straueli.

Cornwall never looked capable of try-scoring of their own to augment Chapman's kicking, but it was useful preparation for the County Championship semi-final against Durham. As ever, all county treasurers bar Durham's are hoping the Cornish make it to Twickenham. Nearly 6,000 of them turned up for this game, on a Wednesday afternoon for goodness' sake.

Cornwall: Penalties Chapman 4. SA Barbarians: Tries Linee 2, Berridge 2, Lawless, Straueli; Conversions Johnson 4; Penalties Johnson 2.

CORNWALL: D Chapman; D Weeks, P Gadsdon (Camborne), D Levick (Penryn), I Pollard (Camborne); J Tucker (Launceston), R Nancekivell (Launceston); J May (Redruth), K Courtenay (Plymouth Albion), J Pearce (St Ives), M Wesson, A Cook (Redruth, capt), S Berryman (Penzance & Newlyn), J Atkinson (St Ives), M Addinall (Penryn). Replacement: M Coulls (Penryn) for May, 76.

SOUTH AFRICAN BARBARIANS: G Lawless; S Berridge, M Linee (Western Province), D Muir (Natal), E Meyer (Namibia); G Johnson (Transvaal), K Putt (Natal, capt); Jacobus Barnard, D van der Walt (Northern Transvaal), J le Roux (Transvaal), L Blom (Western Province), K Otto (Northern Transvaal), Johan Barnard (Namibia), R Straueli, G Combrink (Transvaal).

Referee: A Sparks (Leamington Spa).

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