The Barbarians came out on top in a 14-try 48-42 points-fest against the World XV at Twickenham today to lift the 2023 Killik Cup, with Eddie Jones coming out on top against Steve Hansen.
The match was played at a ridiculous tempo from the off, with an onslaught of offloads and cross-field kicks from either side, which was what all spectators demanded given the players on show.
The pick of the tries was surely scored by Fiji and London Irish lock Api Ratuniyarawa, who finished off a team try with almost all of the star World XV back line, including Israel Folau and Semi Radradra, playing a part. But while locks were finishing free flowing attacks in this upside-down match, BaaBaas winger Adam Radwan was also on the end of a driving maul in the first-half as well.
Despite trailing 28-12 at one point in the first half, the Barbarians went in at half-time 31-28. After such a frantic first-half, the second was slightly slower with plenty of players fatiguing, as expected. But tries were still flowing, with a further 31 points being scored in the second-half.
The Barbarians’ eight point lead heading into the final five minutes was slashed to just one when Springbok Sbu Nkosi went in in the corner for the World XV, with Wales fly-half Rhys Patchell converting from a tight angle. The game was put to bed for the Barbarians by Fiji centre Setareki Tamanivalu though, who crashed over the line from a fairly un-Barbarians direct tap and carry. The match finished with a mandatory kick for a second-row, this time captain Alun Wyn Jones, who attempted to avenge his conversion miss earlier in the half. However, it was not to be for the recently retired Wales legend though, as he shanked another kick wide.