Robinson helps Wales wave off two legends
Wales 30 Barbarians 21: Young wing shines in match that marks Shane and Martyn Williams' farewell
the millennium stadium
Sunday 03 June 2012
The stage was set for two modern greats to sign off on an emotional afternoon, but it was to the future that Wales cast its collective gaze.
Shane Williams and Martyn Williams said farewell on turf they have graced for more than a decade, the latter becoming only the third Welshman to win 100 caps. But the players in possession of "their" jerseys, as well as a 19-year-old wing and a resurgent James Hook, secured Wales' sixth successive win, ahead of the tour to Australia.
The flanker Justin Tipuric reminded Sam Warburton that he has competition for Martyn Williams' old No 7 jersey and Aled Brew, wearing Shane Williams' 11, wrapped up victory in the final minute. On the other wing, the 5ft 9in Harry Robinson marked his Test debut with a blistering 40-metre try. The game also marked a return to form for Hook, who had suffered an alarming fall from grace at the World Cup. He contributed 20 points, including his first Test try in 15 months.
Wales's caretaker coach, Rob Howley, said: "James was struggling with a virus this week but showed again he is hugely talented. He has time on the ball, scored a great try and his kicking was exceptional. He kept his composure to nail the conversion from out wide, which has sometimes not happened in the past."
Howley has cut Dan Biggar, Ryan Bevington, Martyn Williams, Will Harries and Adam Warren from his 34-man squad to face the Wallabies. He has retained three new caps, Robinson, Rhodri Jones and Liam Williams.
Howley said: "Harry [Robinson] is almost Shane-esque in the excitement he creates when he is on the ball but this was an important game for the development of a lot of young guys. We lost our way in the middle of the game but we showed character and guts and winning helps create momentum for Australia."
Sadly, two Shane Williams turnovers began and ended Wales's success. First, Tipuric stole possession and Robinson left the former All Black full-back Mils Muliaina with little chance.
The Barbarians' coach, John Kirwan, said: "All I could think was, 'Here comes another one.' Wales see one wing retire and have another already waiting, to their credit."
Hook took Wales to a 13-point lead before Stephen Donald scored twice and Richie Rees once to put the Baa-Baa's 21-16 ahead. Hook scored eight minutes from time before Brew took Williams's loose pass to seal the win.
Wales L Williams (Scarlets); H Robinson (Blues), A Bishop (Ospreys), J Hook (Perpignan), A Brew (Dragons); D Biggar (Ospreys), L Williams (Blues); R Gill (Saracens), M Rees (capt), R Jones (both Scarlets), AW Jones, I Evans (both Ospreys), J Turnbull (Scarlets), R Jones, J Tipuric (both Ospreys). Replacements P James (Ospreys) for Gill, 45; M Williams (Blues) for AW Jones, 46; A Shingler (Scarlets) for R Jones, 51; R Webb (Ospreys) for L Williams, 51; A Warren (Scarlets) for Biggar, 64; R Hibbard (Ospreys) for Rees, 68; W Harries (Dragons) for Robinson, 68.
Barbarians M Muliaina (New Zealand); I Nacewa (Fiji), C Laulala (New Zealand), M Tindall (England), S Williams (Wales); S Donald (New Zealand), R Rees; D Jones (both Wales), B August (France), J Smit (capt, South Africa), M O'Driscoll (Ireland), M Chisholm (Australia), F Louw (South Africa), J Beattie (Scotland), M Gorgodze (Georgia). Replacements A van Zyl (Stade Français) for O'Driscoll, 40; A de Malmanche (New Zealand) for August, 40; S Tagicakibau (Samoa) for Laulala, 46; N Tialata (New Zealand) for Smit, 46; A Qera (Fiji) for Gorgodze, 56; R Lawson (Scotland) for Rees, 57; C Heymans (France for Muliaina, 66.
Referee A Rolland (Ireland).
Tries: Robinson, Hook, Brew
Cons: Hook 3
Pens: Hook 3
Tries: Donald 2, Rees
Cons: Donald 3
Raheem Sterling to Manchester City: Winger to report for Liverpool training on Monday but Reds braced for third City bid this week
Women's World Cup 2015: England secure third place as they beat Germany in extra time with penalty by Fara Williams
Liverpool to confirm Sean O'Driscoll and Pep Lijnders for Brendan Rodgers' backroom coaching staff
Manchester City transfer news: City determined to sign Paul Pogba and meet £71m British transfer record
PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 What supermodels really think about posing in the nude
- 3 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 4 Black teen in critical condition after store employee 'shoots him for stealing 79-cent pack of cookies'
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget