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Wednesday, 29 May, 2002, 17:52 GMT 18:52 UK
Barbarians bounce back
Former New Zealand flanker Josh Kronfeld was outstanding
Josh Kronfeld sparked the Baa-Baas' fightback
Wales 25-40 Barbarians



Pat Lam's Barbarians staged a stunning second-half fightback to rock Wales' South Africa tour preparations by defeating their hosts at the Millennium Stadium on Wednesday night.

Wales, who head off on a two-Test assignment against the Springboks later this week, saw a 25-0 interval lead ruthlessly wiped out.

Gloucester's new South African signing Thinus Delport led the way, scoring two tries, while there was also a double for replacement prop Adrian Garvey.

  Scoring details:
Wales (25) 25:
Tries:
Gavin Thomas, Mark Taylor, Craig Morgan.
Cons: Stephen Jones (2).
Pens: Jones (2).
Barbarians (0) 40:
Tries:
Adrian Garvey (2), Oliver Smith, Thinus Delport (2), Pat Lam.
Cons: Braam van Straaten (5).
Att: 21,500

As if that was not bad enough, Leicester centre Ollie Smith and skipper Lam added further touchdowns during a devastating 35-minute points blitz.

Fly-half Braam van Straaten converted five of the tries, leaving Wales to reflect on where and why it went so horribly wrong.

Coach Steve Hansen was given plenty to think about and, on this evidence, the Springboks have little to fear in Bloemfontein and Cape Town next month.

Wales started with a bang, collecting first-half tries from centre Mark Taylor, wing Craig Morgan and flanker Gavin Thomas, while fly-half Stephen Jones kicked 10 points, but the men in red then collapsed spectacularly.

The Barbarians side included South African full-back Percy Montgomery, who agreed a two-and-a-half year contract with Newport earlier in the day, and there was also an emotional send-off for Lam in his final game before retirement.

Early exchanges were dominated by Scottish referee Rob Dickson's whistle, but Wales opened their account through a 12th-minute Jones penalty and then went further ahead following a clever piece of opportunism by scrum-half Dwayne Peel.

Peel, being groomed as Rob Howley's Wales successor, unluckily failed to gather an audacious chip-and-chase solo effort, yet the Baa-Baas' defence was sufficiently scattered and Taylor powered over for a try before Jones added another penalty.

Wales centre Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor scored Wales' first try

The Baa-Baas, crushed 53-29 by England last Sunday, were unable to penetrate a well-organised Welsh unit - although handling errors compounded their efforts - and another home try seven minutes before half-time came as no surprise.

Peel's eye for the gap again created an attacking platform, with wing Craig Morgan finishing off a crisp move by collecting full-back Kevin Morgan's pass and crossing wide out.

Jones booted the touchline conversion, and Wales were at it again just four minutes later.

Back-row men Martyn Williams and captain Colin Charvis played key support roles and Welsh adventure was rewarded when Thomas gathered Jones' inside pass to touch down between the posts.

Another Jones conversion hoisted Wales into a 25-0 lead, leaving the outclassed Baa-Baas seemingly facing damage limitation in front of a 21,500 crowd.

Hansen made a double half-time substitution, sending on Pontypridd forwards Gethin Jenkins and Richard Parks instead of Iestyn Thomas and flanker Williams.

But it was the Baa-Baas who struck first with a try that showcased the talents of exciting young English backs Jamie Noon and Smith.

Pat Lam
Pat Lam signed off his playing career with a try

Newcastle's Noon blasted through the Welsh defence, and his efforts were rewarded when Smith - back in Cardiff just five days after helping Leicester retain the Heineken Cup - beat Rhys Williams in a try-line dash.

As Wales' most-capped player, Neil Jenkins, prepared to join the action following a 12-month injury absence from international rugby, the Barbarians struck a second blow.

Wales had no answer to some crisp midfield passing and Smith's exquisite delivery allowed Delport an easy run-in.

In-form Van Straaten converted both tries, and had more opportunities as Wales' game disintegrated in the face of wave after wave of brilliant Baa-Baas attacking adventure.

Delport added his second try by showing a blistering turn of pace and Garvey completed his double by rounding off another flowing move.

Wales had chances through Craig Morgan and Charvis - who had a "try" ruled out for an earlier knock-on - and it was left to Lam to bow out of rugby with the final word by scoring in the corner.


Teams:

Wales: K Morgan (Swansea); R Williams (Cardiff), M Taylor (Swansea), A Marinos (Newport), C Morgan (Cardiff); S Jones (Llanelli), D Peel (Llanelli); I Thomas (Llanelli), R McBryde (Llanelli), B Evans (Swansea), S Williams (London Irish), G Llewellyn (Neath), G Thomas (Bath), M Williams (Cardiff), C Charvis (Swansea, capt).
Replacements: M Davies (Pontypridd), G Jenkins (Pontypridd), R Sidoli (Pontypridd), R Parks (Pontypridd), R Powell (Cardiff), N Jenkins (Cardiff), J Robinson (Cardiff).

Barbarians: P Montgomery (Western Province and South Africa); T Delport (Natal and South Africa); O Smith (Leicester), P Alatini (Wellington and New Zealand); J Noon (Newcastle and England); B van Straaten (Leeds and South Africa); M Robinson (Auckland and New Zealand); C Dowd (Wasps and New Zealand), R Ibanez (Castres and France), M Reggiardo (Narbonne and Argentina), D Weir (Scottish Borders and Scotland), K Roche (Saracens), P Lam (Newcastle and Samoa, capt), J Kronfeld (Leicester and New Zealand), J Williams (Munster and Australia).
Replacements: M Ledesma (Narbonne and Argentina), A Garvey (Newport and South Africa), K Chesney (Saracens), O Tonu'u (Newport and New Zealand), L Botham (Newcastle), R Strudwick (London Irish), P Muller (Cardiff and South Africa).

Referee: Rob Dickson (Scotland).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Wales' Rachel Treadaway
"A real game of two halves"
Former Wales player Stuart Davies
"Wales lost their focus"
Wales coach Steve Hansen
"A good first half and a very poor second"
Barbarians openside Josh Kronfeld
"It was sort your act out at half-time"
See also:

27 May 02 | International
23 May 02 | International
29 May 02 | Celtic
Links to more International stories are at the foot of the page.


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