Wales recorded a come-from-behind 30-21 victory over the Barbarians on Saturday in an entertaining game at the Millennium Stadium.
Wales recorded a come-from-behind 30-21 victory over the Barbarians on Saturday in an entertaining game at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Inside centre James Hook and wing Aled Brew were the heroes for the hosts as their converted tries in the last ten minutes sent the Welsh to Australia with a decent win under their belt.
The special Test fixture was meant to be Shane and Martyn Williams' day but ultimately the match may be remembered for Harry Robinson's debut.
The 19-year-old Cardiff Blues finisher scored a breathtaking try after scrum-half Lloyd Williams spotted space wide on the right and from 40 metres, Robinson raced into the corner with Mils Muliaina unable to make up the ground to stop him. It was quite a way to enjoy a home debut.
His try on ten minutes had followed an earlier James Hook penalty and his extras of Robinson's effort gave Wales a ten-point lead.
Hook added a further three points from the kicking tee on 25 minutes as it looked like Rob Howley was about to enjoy watching a clinical performance against the Baa-baas.
But that proved not to be the case as Barbarians fly-half Stephen Donald's opportunistic effort and Welsh scrum-half Richie Rees scoring on 27 and 36 minutes respectively – Donald converting – saw the improving visitors go in at half-time with a 13-14 advantage.
There was a raft of changes after the break as Aled de Malmanche, Anton van Zyl, Sailosi Tagicakibau, Neemia Tialata, Akapusi Qera and Rory Lawson all emerged before the next try was posted on the hour. It was again Donald getting in on the act as the pivot spotted space in the Welsh backline – in between Dan Biggar and Andrew Bishop – and promptly powered over before adding the extras. It was now 16-21 due to an earlier Hook penalty.
But then came the Welsh fightback as Hook did well to hold two defenders and cross from 30 metres on the left wing before Brew intercepted a pass to add the icing on the cake as both Williams' said goodbye to the 57,000 watching supporters at Millennium Stadium.
Tries: Robinson, Hook, Brew
Con: Hook 3
Pen: Hook 3
Tries: Donald 2, Rees
Con: Donald 3
Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 James Hook, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Ryan Jones, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun Wyn Jones, 3 Rhodri Jones, 2 Matthew Rees (c), 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Paul James, 18 Aaron Shingler, 19 Martyn Williams, 20 Rhys Webb, 21 Adam Warren, 22 Will Harries.
Barbarians: 15 Mils Muliana, 14 Isa Nacewa, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Casey Laulala, 11 Shane Williams, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Mamuka Gorgodze, 7 Johnnie Beattie, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 Mick O'Driscoll, 3 John Smit (capt), 2 Benoit August, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Aled de Malmanche, 17 Neemia Tialata, 18 Anton Van Zyl, 19 Akapusi Qera, 20 Rory Lawson, 21 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 22 Cedric Heymans.
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)