Rugby Union: Stark leads way with hat-trick: Newport and Barbarians run riot in their record spree at Rodney Parade

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Newport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45

Barbarians. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54

ENTERTAINMENT was the only name of the game at Rodney Parade last night as the Barbarians and Newport combined to run riot in running up a record score. Between them, they comfortably eclipsed the 75 points of 11 years ago with 27 minutes to spare as they piled up 15 tries.

And it was very much two- way traffic. Newport, despite languishing in the lower reaches of the Heineken First Division, took the opportunity to throw the ball about with abandon in this 88th meeting between the sides.

Away from the pressure of league rugby, the only points that mattered were those on the board and the modest crowd certainly had their money's worth.

The Baa-Baas, who included seven internationals, did fall behind to an early try from David Rees, the Newport full-back showing some delightful off-the-cuff touches. Ultimately, though, the Barbarians had that little extra in terms of pace and power, Derek Stark leading the procession with a hat- trick of tries.

However, it was Steve Ojomoh, England's barnstorming back-row forward, who got the Barbarian bandwagon rolling when he muscled his way over from a tap- penalty move.

Mark Taylor, the Pontypool centre who is tipped by many for a rise to the top, was a constant threat in midfield and it was from one of his breaks that Stark collected the first of his tries. For his next, he was involved three times in a thrillingly sustained attack.

Taylor complemented the efforts of his forwards with the next before Andy Gomersall strolled over unopposed, Simon Hodgkinson adding five immaculate conversions.

In between all this, Newport managed to keep themselves in touch with tries from Mark Workman, Simon Enoch and Andy Griffiths, while Byron Hayward made two conversions in a first-half spree of 59 points.

It was virtually the same again after half-time, Luc Evans, Stark and Taylor crossing for the Barbarians, with Hogkinson missing just one conversion on the night.

There were three more tries from Newport, Hayward converting the lot but, as hard as both sides tried, they collectively missed out on topping three figures by a point.

Newport: Tries Rees 2, Workman, Enoch, Griffiths, Manson-Bishop, Atkins; Conversions Hayward 5. Barbarians: Tries Stark 3, Taylor 2, Ojomoh, Gomersall, Evans; Conversions Hodgkinson 7.

NEWPORT: D Rees; G Bowden, S Enoch, M Evans, A Griffiths; B Hayward, M Roderick; A Williams, I Jones, S Duggan, R Goodey (capt), M Workman, D Roberts, B Atkins, A Carter.

BARBARIANS: S Hodgkinson (Moseley); A Gomersall (Wasps), M Taylor (Pontypool), J Bell (Ballymena), D Stark (Boroughmuir); L Evans (Treorchy), A Booth (Cardiff); K Yates (Bath), J Humphries, M Griffiths, D Jones (Cardiff), R West (Gloucester), S Ojomoh, D Egerton (Bath), D Corkery (Cork Constitution).

Referee: Clayton Thomas (Welsh RU).

Bell rings time on Luyt, page 30