Planet Rugby

England limp home against Barbarians

01st June 2008 16:44

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Centre of attention: Mapusua was England's biggest problem at Twickenham

England signed off for the summer tour of New Zealand with a shambolic performance against the Barbarians at Twickenham.

The home side narrowly won the game 17-14 with tries from Nick Easter and Mathew Tait but there were unanswered questions barely 24 hours before they jet off to Auckland.

Rob Andrew's Test squad will be strengthened by the return of players from Leicester, Wasps and Bath - but he was still able to name 15 of the senior touring party in his match 22.

Man-of-the-match Seilala Mapusua, the London Irish centre, and former Wales captain Gareth Thomas scored for the Barbarians.

England captain Easter admitted his side had "a lot more work to do" ahead of the tour to New Zealand.

"We wanted to play an expansive game but it got a bit messy at the breakdown and it was very frustrating," Easter told Sky Sports 1.

"A win is a win but the breakdown is becoming key. It's a real fight down there and neither side was clinical through the phases.

"The execution wasn't quite there, both sides only had a week to prepare so I suppose you could put it down to that.

"We have to do a lot more work."

Andrew however believed it was a worthwhile exercise for his players.

"In a way it was difficult, the Barbarians were very streetwise," he said.

"They came to stop us playing, very unlike the Barbarians of old.

"It was a pretty tough work-out for the players who have not played for three weeks.

"They needed it, it was more like a Premiership game in some respects."

The Scorers:

For England:

Tries: Easter, Tait

Cons: Flood, Brown

Pen: Flood

For Barbarians:

Tries: Mapusua, Thomas

Cons: Gomarsall, Jackson

Yellow Cards: Molitika - Barbarians (29th minute), Thomas - Barbarians (61st minute).

The Teams:

England: 15 Mike Brown (Harlequins), 14 Topsy Ojo (London Irish), 13 Mathew Tait (Newcastle), 12 Toby Flood (Newcastle), 11 David Strettle (Harlequins), 10 Charlie Hodgson (Sale Sharks), 9 Richard Wigglesworth (Sale Sharks), 8 Nick Easter (Harlequins, capt), 7 Will Skinner (Harlequins), 6 Luke Narraway (Gloucester), 5 Nick Kennedy (London Irish), 4 Chris Jones (Sale Sharks), 3 Jason Hobson (Bristol), 2 David Paice (London Irish), 1 Nick Lloyd (Saracens).

Replacements: 16 Dylan Hartley (Northampton), 17 David Wilson (Newcastle), 18 Stuart Hooper (Leeds Carnegie), 19 Tom Guest (Harlequins), 20 Danny Care (Harlequins), 21 Pete Richards (London Irish), 22 Ugo Monye (Harlequins).

Barbarians: 15 Thinus Delport, 14 Gareth Thomas, 13 Morgan Turinui, 12 Seilala Mapusua, 11 Iain Balshaw, 10 Stephen Larkham, 9 Andy Gomarsall, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Maama Molitika, 6 Jerry Collins, 5 Justin Harrison, 4 Kris Chesney, 3 Cobus Visagie, 2 Mark Regan (capt), 1 Federico Pucciariello.

Replacements: 16 Sebastien Bruno, 17 Patrice Collazo, 18 Santiago Dellape, 19 David Croft, 20 Michael Claassens, 21 Glen Jackson, 22 Jaco Pretorius.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)

Touch judges: Alan Lewis. (Ireland), Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

Television match official: John Burtenshaw (England), Brendan Fitzgerald (England)

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