June International Tours

Barbarians upset Wales to spoil Jones’ party



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Isa Nacewa scored a try in the final minute of the match to hand the Barbarians a 28-31 victory over Wales.

The match was meant to be a celebration for Stephen Jones who was playing in his 100th game for Wales.

The match was Gavin Henson’s first for Wales in two years and while he failed to get on the scoreboard it was his pass that let Georger North score the opening try.

A late try at Twickenham last weekend had snatched the Barbarians an unlikely victory over England from the jaws of defeat and they followed their heroics up with another eleventh hour show against Warren Gatland’s men.

With four months until the World Cup in New Zealand, Wales were put through their paces and looked to have secured a hard-fought victory.

But the Barbarians stormed back with two late tries to deny Wales the perfect start to their World Cup build-up.

Gatland’s men had trailed 19-14 at the interval despite taking the lead thanks to George North.

The Baa-Baas hit back with tries from Iosefa Tekori and Isa Nacewa before Morgan Stoddart intercepted to score, but the famous invitational club hit-back through Sergio Parisse.

Wales struck with two close-range second-half touch-downs through Mike Phillips and Aled Brew, but Mathieu Bastareaud and Isa Nacewa pounced for tries to secure a second win in as many weeks.

The Baa-Baas dominated the early exchanges but following a sustained period of possession Wales opened the scoring.

The ball was spread to the returning Gavin Henson – playing his first test for more than two years after self imposed exile – and he fired a long pass to North for the teenager to slice through Nacewa and Doug Howlett for his third international try.

Jones added the extras to hand Wales a 7-0 lead on the 10-minute mark. But the visitors demonstrated their attacking flair with a fine try of their own on seven minutes.

Brock James intercepted Jones’ short-pass and raced clear.

With Morgan Stoddart covering, the Clermont fly-half slowed for support and fed Van Niekerk before the South African flicked a behind the back ball to Tekori to score.

James struck the upright but the visitors were soon back on the scoreboard.

Deep inside Welsh territory the Baa-Baas worked the overlap as the Dragons’ defence went awol and Nacewa raced over.

James made no mistake with the conversion to hand the Baa-Baas a 12-7 lead.

Their lead lasted only a matter of minutes with Stoddart intercepting Paul Tito’s pass on the right to race 60 metres and score.

Jones again added the extras to put Wales back in front at 14-12, yet the Baa-Baas went into the interval in front following a Parisse try off the back of the a dominant scrum.

Things did not start well for Wales with Aled Brew shown yellow for a high-tackle within minutes of the restart.

Then Tekori quickly followed Brew to the sin-bin for a professional foul as Wales pressed.

Gatland’s men continued to heap the pressure on with only the wily Welsh veteran Martyn Williams keeping his compatriots out.

Wales restored their lead on the 53rd minute when Phillips drove over from close-range.

Jones was again on target with the boot to hand Wales a slender 21-19 lead.

And they landed the decisive blow on the 65th minute when Brew crashed through Iestyn Thomas to touch-down.

Again, in his last action of the game, centurion Jones nailed the conversion to put Wales in a 28-19 lead.

Wales could have quickly added to that following a searing break from Jon Davies but he failed to find Toby Faletau in support.

With less than 10-minutes to go Willie Mason demonstrated why Toulon fought to sign him. He created a moment of magic to release Thomas who in turn released Bastareaud.

James failed with the conversion but with the final play of the game Nacewa raced clear for a second try to stea

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