7 Jun 2009

Australia thrash the Barbarians

6:35 am on 7 June 2009

Australia opened their international rugby season with a record 55-7 win over the Barbarians at the Sydney Football Stadium.

The Wallabies were never seriously challenged by a strong Barbarians side, who beat England last week, running in eight tries to one in a match that was played in the best traditions of Barbarian rugby.

It was the Barbarians biggest loss to a southern hemisphere side.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said he was pleased with the win against a team which he said was far from being second rate.

Wing Drew Mitchell, who was picked at the expense of Lote Tuqiri, justified the selectors' faith in him with two tries while lock James Horwill, flyhalf Matt Giteau, hooker Stephen Moore and replacements Ben Alexander, David Pocock and James O'Connor all helped themselves to touchdowns in a lop-sided match.

England wing Iain Balshaw scored a consolation try for the Barbarians that was converted by New Zealand flyhalf Luke McAlister on the stroke of halftime but the visitors were never able to pose any real threat to the Australians.