South African Barbarians. .24
THREE tries to nil counted little for the inventive South African Barbarians until their wing Pieter Hendriks added a last-minute winner in the corner and Gavin Johnson converted to complete a frantic match at Welford Road last night. The tourists had conceded 30 of the 36 penalty awards and almost paid a heavy price for their petulance.
Five Leicester players withdrew as a precaution against injury before the Midlands game against the All Blacks next Tuesday. Richards, Wells and Bates decided to chance their arm to defend the Tigers' honour against the tourists who had beaten Gloucester 15-11 two days earlier.
Garforth, omitted by the Midlands, confirmed his ability in the loose with a driving run to force the South Africans into a desperate offside at a ruck. Harris hooked the kick but like a pinball wizard, cannoned a second attempt in- off the left-hand post.
The brisk downfield wind sustained Leicester in a trying match, lacking immediate quality. Tony Russ, their director of rugby, would have preferred better timing for this game but appreciated its value. A few young Tigers could cut their teeth.
The Barbarians face six more demanding matches on a tour which also takes them to Wales and Ireland and finally to Bath on 6 November.
Harris landed two first-half penalty goals from six attempts, all following ruck offences, but the Barbarians pocketed the initial try, by de Beer after Johan Barnard charged down a long-delayed clearance kick from the Leicester outside-half, Johnson converting.
Andrew Blakeway imposed a rugged presence after half- time, once being lectured before the referee also had a strong word with Harry Roberts, the Barbarians and former Leicester hooker.
Indiscipline devalued the tourists' performance and Harris punished their indiscretions with four more penalty goals, taking Leicester ahead a second time and setting the scene for an enthralling finale.
Leicester: Penalties: Harris 6. South African Barbarians: Tries: de Beer, Roux, Scholtz, Hendriks; Conversions: Johnson 2.
Leicester: W Kilford; T Rendals, I Bates, J Evans, S Reid; J Harris, A Kardooni; D Jelley, R Cockerill, D Garforth, A Gissing, M Poole, J Wells, D Richards (capt), W Drake-Lee.
South African Barbarians: G Johnson; S Berridge, C Scholtz, J Mulder, P Hendriks; J de Beer, J Roux; T van der Linde, H Roberts, A Garvey, P Schutte, R Opperman, J Barnard, R Straueli (capt), A Blakeway.
Referee: B Ockenden (London).
Pearce's double chance, page 42