New Zealand’s Hosea Gear scored two tries as the Barbarians went some way to restoring their reputation with a 39-29 win over an unfamiliar-looking England at Twickenham in London on Sunday.
Following the invitational team’s much-criticized display in a 59-8 thrashing by the British and Irish Lions in Hong Kong last year, England’s 2003 World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward labeled the match “a waste of time,” but in front of a crowd of more than 50,000, the Barbarians ran in five tries from Benson Stanley, Juan Martin Hernandez, Mamuka Gorgodze and Gear, who crossed twice late on.
“The game was won because people kindly kicked to Hosea Gear,” said a smiling Dean Ryan, the Barbarians coach for the match, of the 30-year-old Toulouse flyer, who won the last of his 14 caps two years ago.
On a more serious note, former England forward and current Worcester coach Ryan added: “I’m pleased we represented the Barbarians in a way that allows us to see the talents of a Hosea Gear, but also sees us really work hard to win a game at the end.”
Joe Lydon, the Rugby Football Union’s head of international player development, said a youthful England side had been outsmarted by their vastly more experienced opponents.
“Maths has never been my strong point, but when it took me a good 10 minutes to add up all their caps as against ours, I always knew it was going to be a tough game,” Lydon said. “They are experienced and have quality.”
England were fielding what was, effectively, a fourth XV, with Stuart Lancaster’s initial squad already in New Zealand ahead of next week’s first Test against world champions the All Blacks and players involved in Saturday’s Premiership final between Northampton and Saracens not considered for the match.
The England side boasted just 11 Test caps in all compared with the Barbarians’ tally of more than 700.
However, England went ahead in the 12th minute when No. 8 Dave Ewers drove over for a close-range try converted by Exeter teammate Henry Slade, but the Barbarians, fielding a starting XV featuring 13 players at French clubs, lived up to the side’s reputation for running rugby with a well-worked try of their own six minutes later.
Stanley sold a smart dummy, before a neat exchange of passes saw the All Blacks center cross for a try.
Australian flyhalf Brock James, the traditional uncapped player in the Barbarians side and a teammate of Stanley’s at Clermont, saw his conversion go in off the post.
Wasps fullback Elliot Daly kicked England into a 10-7 lead with a penalty and it was his running counterattack that led to England’s second try, before replacement flyhalf Ollie Devoto’s grubber-kick was collected by wing Charlie Sharples.
However, the highlight of the first half was provided by the Barbarians’ second try.
James’ brilliant cross-kick was taken on the run by Gear and his superbly timed inside pass sent Argentina fullback Hernandez in for a try. James then converted to cut England’s lead to a point.
There was still time in the half for Slade to kick England’s second penalty, with the hosts leading 18-14 at the break, but the Barbarians regained the lead in the 46th minute when Georgia No. 8 Gorgodze charged off the back of a scrum for a try.
James’ conversion and subsequent penalty extended the Barbarians’ advantage.
England hit back when Slade crossed for a try, but his conversion attempt hit the post and stayed out.
France’s Francois Trinh-Duc, on for James, kicked a penalty, before Slade responded to leave the Barbarians a point in front at 27-26.
However, the Barbarians, running the ball from 45m out, responded with a fine try. Trinh-Duc fed Gear and the Toulouse wing stepped round Daly, before sauntering in down the left touchline for a 64th-minute try.
Slade kicked another penalty, but the Barbarians put the result beyond doubt when, after their captain Argentina’s Juan Manuel Leguizamon had fielded a high kick, the ball was worked left and Gear went over in the corner.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on