The Australia wing Drew Mitchell scored two first-half tries as the Barbarians won the final match of South Africa's autumn European tour. The Springboks, who started with only three men who started last weekend's 21-11 victory over England, were run off their feet in the first half as the Baa-Baas turned on the style.
The Barbarians, fielding six All Blacks and six Australians, including the 20-year-old Wallaby James O'Connor at full-back, brought flair and ambition to Twickenham. The Wales flanker Martyn Williams was their only British starter; the Wales prop John Yapp, another Cardiff Blue, was on the bench. Williams was prominent as the Barbarians applied pressure which resulted in the Australia scrum-half Will Genia sending Mitchell in for the first try.
The 20-year-old fly-half Elton Jantjies kicked a penalty for South Africa in the 10th minute but the Barbarians then hit them with two tries in five minutes to stretch their lead to 19-3. The All Black prop Neemia Tialata took a botched line-out throw from the Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss to drive to within a yard of the line and the Baa-Baas whipped the ball along the line, where Ma'a Nonu gave O'Connor the space to run in. O'Connor converted. Jantjies then missed a penalty before Mitchell struck again. His Wallaby team-mate Adam Ashley-Cooper kicked aheadand Mitchell won the chase to touch down. O'Connor converted from wide out.
South Africa got a foothold in the game after four minutes of the second half, when the wing Odwa Ndungane intercepted a Nonu pass and raced half the length of the pitch. Jantjies converted but he missed another penalty after 57 minutes.
The Barbarians went for touch instead of kicking a penalty and, following a concentrated spell of pressure, their bold approach paid off when Quintin Geldenhuys, their South African-born Italy lock, drove over in the left-hand corner after more good work by Tialata. O'Connor converted again.
South Africa scored two late tries, from Bakkies Botha in the 71st minute and the replacement hooker Bandise Maku with the last attack, to put a respectable slant on the scoreline.
Barbarians J O'Connor; J Rokocoko (S Rabeni, 64), A Ashley-Cooper, M Nonu (S Donald, 63), D Mitchell; M Giteau, W Genia (A Ellis, 48); S Perugini, S Moore (K Mealamu, 40), N Tialata (J Yapp, 64), A van Zyl, C Jack, R So'oialo (Q Geldenhuys, 48), C Bourke (Geldenhuys, 23-29), M Williams (D Braid, 22-29).
South Africa P Lambie; A Ndungane, A Jacobs, Andries Strauss (C McLeod, 63), L Mvovo; E Jantjies (G Aplon, 72), F Hougaard; C Oosthuizen (T Mtawarira, 45; W Kruger, 67), Adriaan Strauss (B Maku, 59), CJ van der Linde, B Botha (F van der Merwe, 29-38), A Hargreaves (Van der Merwe, 40), W Alberts, R Kankowski (K Daniel, 55), J Smith (capt).
Referee P Gauzere (France).Reuse content