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Result: England 45 v 63 Barbarians {27-05-18}

The Barbarians won a thriller against England at Twickenham on Sunday, running in nine tries in a 63-45 victory to lift the Quilter Cup.

Tries from Chris Ashton (3), Victor Vito (2), Finn Russell, Semi Radrada, Sitaleki Timani and Greig Laidlaw entertained the local support.

In reply the English tries were scored by Elliot Daly, Piers Francis (2), Zach Mercer, Joe Launchbury and Jonny May as they came up short.

Eddie Jones will know there is work to be done ahead of their three-Test series against South Africa, with their defence appearing flaky.

Nine tries and 63 points were scored in an end-to-end opening half, with both sides playing a high tempo game that left holes in defence.

The Barbarians raced into a 21-0 lead on 12 minutes as first Radradra’s fine line bust through Henry Trinder and Chris Robshaw led to him finding Josua Tuisova on his right. He then kindly popped to Ashton on the try-line for an ideal start for the Baa-baas and the full-back.

Ashton was over again four minutes later as he gathered his own chip over the top before grounding. That again came from a Tuisova carry.

The Baa-baas were motoring and from a set play five metres out another chip kick, this time from Russell, found Vito who extended the gap.

England needed something and it promptly came on 18 minutes as Daly, starting in the full-back position, fought his way over the whitewash before three minutes later inside centre Francis also crossed, with Ford converting both tries to make it 21-14 as the hosts were building.

Ashton though had other ideas and claimed his hat-trick in simple fashion for a 28-14 lead before yet more tries would follow at Twickenham.

The next crossing saw Mercer go over after Daly’s line break and when Ford then set up Francis for his brace, suddenly it was a tied game.

However the Barbarians would have the final say of the half as Ashton then turned provider for Russell who showed pace from 30 metres out.

They also had the first score of the second-half when Radrada slipped Robshaw’s attempted hit before rounding wing May to make it 42-28.

With England 14 points down it was an interesting call to kick a penalty goal on 49 minutes, which also didn’t go down well with the home fans.

But there was still lots time on the clock and when Launchbury grounded against the base of the post, the English were only four points down.

Again though the Barbarians were not to be outdone and good handling down the right wing led to Loni Uhila setting up Timani for the try.

With time wearing on the next score was going to be crucial and it went the way of the invitational side as Radrada’s superb offload found Tuisova, who again handed the ball over to a team-mate when over the whitewash, with Scotland scrum-half Laidlaw dotting down for 56-38.

England weren’t finished though as Danny Cipriani’s well judged grubber through was collected by May, who though he had the final say at Twickenham until Tuisova set up Vito for his brace as the Barbarians finished with a final flourish, running out impressive 63-45 winners.

The scorers:

For England:
Tries: Daly, Francis 2, Mercer, Launchbury, May
Cons: Ford 6
Pen: Ford

For Barbarians:
Tries: Ashton 3, Vito 2, Russell, Radrada, Timani, Laidlaw
Cons: Russell 7, Laidlaw, Lobbe

England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Mike Brown, 10 George Ford (cc), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Zach Mercer, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Chris Robshaw (cc), 5 Joe Launchbury, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jack Singleton, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Nick Schonert, 19 Josh Beaumont, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Denny Solomona

Barbarians: 15 Chris Ashton, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Semi Radradra, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Niyi Adeolokun, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (c), 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 John Afoa, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Denis Buckley
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Loni Uhila, 18 Ramiro Herrera, 19 Joe Tekori, 20 Nili Latu, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 Luke McAlister, 23 Malakai Fekitoa

Referee: Andy Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Marius Mitrea (Italy), Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Television match offcial: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)



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