All Blacks cruise home in top Gear

Barbarians 19 - New Zealand 47

The New Zealand All Blacks duly completed a hugely successful tour with a romp in this exhibition match against the Barbarians and, in doing so, hinted strongly that this summer's British Lions tour will be an absolute cracker.

As a prospect it is delightful, the best of the Home Nations travelling to the Land of the Long White Cloud for a three-Test series of blood and thunder, passion and history, heartache and heritage.

So it is a pity that Saturday's jamboree was anything but. The fact is the Barbarians fixture has been overtaken by professional rugby, the emergence of the Heineken Cup as the world's premier club competition and the ease and frequency of international tours.

Years ago the All Blacks would never have considered omitting talents such as Daniel Carter or Tana Umaga from such a prestigious fixture, but they did, and the understudies won with ease. This should not surprise as they have trained and worked together for months whereas the Barbarians were a hotch-potch outfit dominated, as the top-class European players were unavailable because of Heineken Cup duty, by South Africans and Australians, with Fiji, Italy and New Zealand represented as well. Top-class rugby is about systems and structures and the Barbarians showed few as they conceded seven tries, Mat Rogers in particular playing as if his mind was already on a distant beach in Australia and the match fee already banked, which it probably was.

Not that any of this deterred the 50,000-strong crowd who cheered every pass and run as if they actually counted for something. The highlights were two well-taken tries by the All Black winger Rico Gear and a 60m sprint under the posts by the South African lock, Albert van den Berg after he intercepted a poor pass in midfield.

In contrast, the first half was disjointed and each side's opening scorecame from pushover mauls. Not exactly in the spirit of the thing but at least they consisted of grunt and graft rather than showboating.

If Sir Clive Woodward was watching - and, considering his attention to microscopic detail it would be unthinkable for him not to - he would have noted the dominance and aggression of the man of the match, Jerome Kaino. The All Black flanker completely outplayed Schalk Burger, the South African wonderboy who has been highly decorated for his performances in the Tri-Nations. In fact, the World Player of the Year has had a miserable month with referees and opposition alike, and his battle against Kaino was no different.

The rest was a seemingly constant series of substitutions, that if they were indeed blood replacements as the laws stipulate would have provided a river of the stuff. If not, it was just another example of the match traducing the true spirit of the game.

One thing that may be seen again was the appearance of Lote Tuquri at outside centre. The Australian winger is a large, powerful runner and his coach, Eddie Jones has mooted the idea before. He worked hard and tackled well without ever breaking free, even against such a broken defence but with Matt Giteau likely to move to fly-half and Stirling Mortlock and Stephen Latham injured, such flexibility will enhance the Wallaby back-line immensely.

For those who prefer their rugby with intensity, though, there was a lot better on offer around the country throughout the weekend. And if they must be wedded to the romantic idea of the Barbarians, they should dust off the videotape of this fixture in 1973 at Cardiff and watch the majority of the 1971 Lions tour defeat a full-strength All Blacks.

Money was not the issue then. Pride and honour were as the All Blacks were still smarting, distraught even at the series loss in 1971. That was proper rugby, intense and passionate and well worth watching.

Barbarians: Tries: Rush, Lo Cicero, Berg; Conversions: Giteau, Rodgers. New Zealand: Tries: Holah, Gear 2, Nonu, Laulala, Kaino, Weepu; Conversions: Mauger 5, Weepu.

Barbarians: M Rogers (Australia); C Latham (Australia), L Tuqiri (Australia), M Turinui (Australia), S Bobo (Fiji); M Giteau ( Australia), J Marshall (New Zealand, capt); B Young (Australia), B Cannon (Australia), F Rautenbach (South Africa), D Vickerman (Australia), A van den Berg (South Africa), S Burger (South Africa), X Rush (New Zealand), P Waugh (Australia). Replacements: R Samo (Australia) for Burger, 38-51; A Tuilevo (Fiji) for Latham, 41; W Greeff (South Africa) for Giteau, 41; A Lo Cicero (Italy) for Young, 41; G Botha (South Africa) for Cannon, 41; A J Venter (South Africa) for Van Den Berg, 41; Samo for Waugh, 52; G Bobo (South Africa) for Turinui, 60; Waugh for Rush, 66.

New Zealand: M Muliaina (Auckland); D Howlett (Auckland), C Laulala (Canterbury), M Nono (Wellington), R Gear (North Harbour); A Mauger (Canterbury, capt), J Cowan (Southland); S Taumoepeau (Auckland), K Mealamu (Auckland), G Somerville (Canterbury), R Thorne (Canterbury), A Williams (Auckland), J Kaino (Auckland), S Bates (Waikato), M Holah (Waikato). Replacements: C Jack (Canterbury) for Thorne, 54; M Tuiali'i (Auckland) for Bates, 54; C Hayman (Otago) for Taumoepeau, 58; A Oliver (Otago) for Mealamu, 58; P Weepu (Wellington) for Cowan, 66.

Referee: A Turner (South Africa).

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum