BaaBaas finish tour with Fiji demolition

Barbarians logo (File)
Barbarians logo (File)

Cape Town - The Barbarians rounded off their 2016 tour in style with a 40-7 victory over Fiji in Belfast.

In the space of seven days, the famous invitation club drew 31-31 with South Africa, beat the Czech Republic 71-0 in Prague and then claimed the scalp of the Fijians who were warming up to face England at Twickenham.

The treacherous conditions made it hard for both sides to play fluently, but the BaaBaas still scored six tries with Lions hooker Akker van der Merwe striking twice and the others coming from Highlanders wing Matt Faddes, scrumhalf Andy Ellis (Crusaders), replacement flyhalf Richard Mo’unga (Crusaders) and Luke Morahan (Force) with man-of-the-match Robert du Preez (Stormers) adding five conversions.

Fiji struggled throughout a rain-soaked first half before sparking themselves briefly into life after the break with Waisea Nayacalevu touching down and Nemani Nadolo converting.

The Barbarians made a dramatic and coherent start, squeezing Fiji into errors and scoring twice inside the first six minutes.

Van der Merwe got his first when they drove over from a close-range lineout inside 120 seconds, then Ben Volavola’s clearance was charged down by Jordan Taufua and the ball regathered for Faddes to strike. Du Preez converted both, the latter with a drop goal from the touchline.

Van der Merwe got his second after 17 minutes, this time after a stampeding run from Taqele Naiyaravoro up the right, and World Cup winner Ellis sniped off the side of a ruck midway through the half for the fourth try.

Another two du Preez conversions put the Barbarians 28-0 up but Fiji came back into an increasingly scrappy game after the interval after replacing flyhalf Ben Volavola with Nemia Kenatale.

The Islanders got on the board in the 54th minute, turning the ball over 30 metres out and attacking with Akapusi Qera’s carry setting up Nayacalevu to score in the corner.

They had chances after that but the Barbarians cantered home in the final 10 minutes, replacement flyhalf Mo’unga getting over from close range and Morahan sliding in to touch down a well-weighted chip through the Fijian defence. 

Retiring Lions lock Martin Muller was handed the final conversion shot and missed by some distance.

Scorers:

Barbarians

Tries: Van der Merwe (2), Faddes, Ellis, Mo’unga, Morahan

Conversions: Du Preez (5)

Fiji

Try: Nayacalevu

Conversion: Nadolo

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