The Barbarians scored four unanswered tries in the first half for a comfortable 40-7 victory over Fiji in Belfast on Friday night.
Barbarians beat Fiji on first Belfast visit since 1957
Barbarians’ Akker van der Merwe and Andy Ellis.Photo: Press Eye
The Barbarians defeated Fiji 40-7 at the Kingspan Stadium on Friday on their first visit to Belfast since 1957.
Despite the wet and windy conditions, both sides tried to play running rugby with the Baa-Baas outscoring the South Sea Islanders by six tries to one.
The Baa-Baas took the lead after two minutes in untypical fashion – they kicked a penalty to the corner and from the line out they set up a driving maul, and hooker Akker van der Merwe was propelled over with out half Robert duPreez converting.
Try for the Barbarians’ Akker van der Merwe. Credit: Press Eye
The Barbarians got their second try three minutes later, Fijian full back Benito Masilevu had his attempted clearance charged down, the ball was quickly recycled and moved through the hands to the wing for Matt Faddes to go over in the corner with Du Preez converting.
Van der Merwe got his second try on 18 minutes, from a turnover ball scrum half Andy Ellis released Taqele Naiyaravoro, he beat four defenders before flicking theball inside to the hooker to score and Du Preez converted.
New Zealand world cup winning scrum half Ellis got the invitational side’s fourth try on 26 minutes when he picked the ball from a ruck and dived over from close range with Du Preez knocking over the simple conversion to give the Barbarians a 28-0 lead at the interval.
The Barbarians’ Robert du Preez. Credit: Press Eye
Fiji missed a great to get on the score board at the start of the second half, lock Api Ratuniyawara tooka quick tap penalty he fed hooker Jale Sassen who powered over the line but knocked on before touching down.
It was the South Sea Islanders that got the first points of the second half, No 8 Seru Vularikapounced on a loose ball on the Baa-baas 10 metre line and ran it back, he was hauled down close to the line but winger Waisea Nayacelevu picked up and wentover with winger Nemani Nadolo converting from a tight angle.
The Barbarians’ Robert du Preez is tackled by Fiji’s Dom Waqaniburotu and Asaeli Tikorotuma. Credit: Press Eye
Ulster’s Tommy Bowe had a try disallowed on 63 minutes, Queensland Reds winger Luke Morhanbroke out of his own 22 and carried deep into Fijian territory before putting agrubber kick in behind the defence, Bowe raced onto it but knocked on sliding over in the wet conditions.
The Baa-baas got their fifth try on 75 minutes, the forwards carried close to the try line, Ruan Pienaar juggled the ball when picking up at the ruck but was able to palm to Morahan and the winger had a simple run in with Du Preez adding a simpleconversion.
Morahan rounded of the scoring with the final play of the game when he won the race to touch down following a grubber kick by Du Preez but Martin Muller was unable to convert.
Tries: Van der Merwe 2, Faddes, Ellis, Mo’unga, Morahan
Cons: Du Preez 5
Barbarians: 15 Melani Nanai (Blues), 14 Matt Faddes (Highlanders), 13 Tommy Bowe (Ulster & Ireland), 12 Richard Buckman (Highlanders/Panasonic), 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs/Panasonic & Australia), 10 Robert du Preez (Stormers), 9 Andy Ellis (Crusaders/Kobelco & New Zealand, captain), 8 Luke Whitelock (Highlanders & New Zealand), 7 Jordan Taufua (Crusaders), 6 Brad Shields (Hurricanes), 5 Sam Carter (Brumbies & Australia), 4 Michael Fatialofa (Hurricanes), 3 Ben Franks (London Irish & New Zealand), 2 Akker van der Merwe (Lions), 1 Reggie Goodes (Hurricanes)
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready (Reds), 17 Toby Smith (Rebels & Australia), 18 Paddy Ryan (Waratahs & Australia), 19 Martin Muller (Lions), 20 Ruan Ackermann (Lions), 21 Ruan Pienaar (Ulster & South Africa), 22 Richard Mo’unga (Crusaders), 23 Luke Morahan (Force & Australia)
Fiji: 15 Benito Masilevu, 14 Waisea Nayacalevu, 13 Asaeli Tikorotuma, 12 Albert Vulivuli, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Ben Volavola, 9 Serupepeli Vularika, 8 Akapusi Qera, 7 Mosese Voka, 6 Naulia Dawai, 5 Dominiko Waqaniburoto, 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 3 Manasa Saulo, 2 Jale Sassen, 1 Campese Ma’afu
Replacements: 16 Joeli Veitayaki, 17 Sunia Koto, 18 Leroy Atalifo, 19 Nemia Soqeta, 20 Eremasi Radrodro, 21 Nemia Kenatale, 22 Metuisela Talebula, 23 Vatemo Ravouvou
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: George Clancy (Ireland), David Wilkinson (Ireland)
TMO: Neil Paterson (Scotland)