Barbarians 31-49 Argentina: Baa-Baas and Pumas play out classic at Twickenham
The Barbarians fell to a 49-31 defeat to Argentina in a highly entertaining affair at Twickenham on Saturday
Sensational Pumas led 28-18 against the Baa-Baas at half-time thanks to four tries, which were scored by Facundo Isa, Santiago Cordero (x2) and Ramiro Moyano
The famous invitational side stayed in the game thanks to scores from Tevita Kuridrani and Waisake Naholo
Further tries from Martin Landajo, Jeronimo De la Fuente and Nicolas Sanchez secured the compromising win for Argentina
Joseph Tomane, Waisake Naholo and Victor Matfield touched down to ensure Barbarians made a game of it in the second half
Nicolas Sanchez scored 17 points as Argentina impressively coasted past New Zealand with a fine 49-31 win at Twickenham.
Argentina displayed a thrilling brand of counter-attacking rugby throughout and winger Santiago Cordero went over for a brace, with Ramiro Moyano, Jerónimo De la Fuente, Martín Landajo, Facundo Isa and Sánchez also grabbing five-pointers. Sanchez added six conversions while replacement fly-half Emiliano Boffelli also added one.
The Barbarians, headed up by current Wallabies chief Michael Cheika, was packed with big names, including New Zealand World Cup winner Nehe Milner-Skudder as well as Fijian flier Nemani Nadolo and the iconic Victor Matfield, who all scored for the Baa-Baas, in what proved to be an energetic and entertaining tie.
The Barbarians started well as Tevita Kuridrani gathered a Lima Sopoaga grubber to touch down, but the Pumas quickly settled into their rhythm.
A massive series of drives set up dangerous territory for number eight Facundo Isa to crash over for their first try. And the Ba-Baas’ bright start was soon becoming a mere memory as Cordero stepped his way across the line.
Argentina’s third, on 28 minutes, was a classy score, with Cordero setting off a length-of-the-field effort, bursting forward and flicking a superb pass to Ramiro Moyano for the full-back to notch his side’s third try of the day.
The Barbarians were well on the back foot but their individual brilliance brought up a snappy try as Sopoago chipped ahead for All Blacks wing Waisake Naholo to score.
However Argentina soon plundered a fourth, scrum-half Martin Landajo kicking into space for Cordero to claim his second.
Then substitute Emiliano Boffelli had been on the pitch for only a few seconds when he slipped through some weak defence before sending Landajo over.
With play sweeping up and down the field, Sanchez pulled off a try-saving tackle on giant Fijian Nemani Nadolo to launch a dashing attack which ended with centre Jeronimo de la Fuente touching down.
And Joe Tomane scooped up a loose ball and raced over as the Barbarians hit back before Nadolo cantered over in the right corner, slipping two tackles as he ran. Sanchez crossed, but the final quarter belonged to old friends Matfield and Botha.
Matfield was joined for the last 15 minutes by his long-term pal and former South Africa second row partner Bakkies Botha – playing his last ever game of rugby. The pair were good vaule for their appearance, Botha a strong presence in the scrum, while Matfield got over for a late try, Botha with a comedic shot at goal which ultimately fell short.
Barbarians: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Stephen Hoiles, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Thomas du Toit
Replacements from: 16 James Hanson, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Toby Smith, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Francois Venter, 24 Joe Tomane
Argentina: 15 Ramiro Moyano, 14 Matías Moroni, 13 Jerónimo De la Fuente, 12 Santiago González Iglesias, 11 Santiago Cordero, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo (c), 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Julián Montoya, 1 Lucas Noguera
Replacements: 16 Santiago Iglesias Valdez, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 19 Tomas Lezana, 20 Leonardo Senatore, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Gabriel Ascarate, 23 Emiliano Boffelli
Date: Saturday, November 21
Kick-off: 15:0o GMT
Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Assistant Referees: Tim Wigglesworth (England), Paul Dix (England)
TMO: David Sainsbury (England)