Stuart Lancaster may have unearthed a few sparkling young diamonds in the Twickenham turf as his new boys shone brightly in England’s 40-12 demolition of the Barbarians yesterday.
The opposition may not have been up to the usual Baa-Baas standard, but England’s inexperienced team produced a thoroughly professional job and warmed up for their forthcoming tour to Argentina in style.
Tries from Freddie Burns, Marland Yarde, Kyle Eastmond, Christian Wade and Bill Twelvetrees thrilled the crowd — and had England head coach Lancaster wearing a broad smile and sense of satisfaction as he prepares to fly out with his squad on Wednesday to face a much more daunting challenge against the Pumas.
Burns was also in impressive kicking form with 13 points.
It took just 40 seconds for England to race over their rivals line for the opening try.
In doing so, Gloucester fly-half Burns, who finished off the move after London Irish wing Yarde had broken free down the left flank, scored one of the quickest tries in Twickenham history and then converted his own try.
Burns’ first penalty a few minutes later increased the lead to 13-0 as the Barbarians took longer than usual to warmup.
You sensed it was going to be a long, hot afternoon for rugby’s traveling entertainers and Burns was at his accurate best in the first half. He nailed a difficult kick straight through the middle of the posts for his second penalty.
Yarde showed pace, power and skilful running, to cut through the Baa-Baas defense for the second try just a few minutes after the break. Then it was time for another new boy to make his mark in the white jersey, with Eastmond taking just a few minutes of his debut to cutting in from the right flank and race over the line.
Gloucester center Twelvetrees charged over for the home side’s fifth try, while late scores from South African hooker Schalk Brits and London Wasps fullback Elliot Daly salvaged some late pride for the Barbarians.