Barbarians put to sword

JAMES O'Connor revelled in his first international appearance at five-eighth when he guided the Wallabies to an impressive 60-11 win over the Barbarians at Twickenham this morning.

It appears certain that O'Connor will be the Test No.10 against Wales in Cardiff next Saturday after Berrick Barnes was forced off the field just before halftime with what appeared to be a back complaint.

In the absence of Quade Cooper, who has missed the short Great Britain tour because of injury, O'Connor stood up to the mark as the chief playmaker, mixing his options well and showing courage against a Barbarians side which included numerous international rugby greats.

O'Connor was faultless in the goalkicking department, kicking seven conversions, penalty and a field goal. His only 'miss' was of a bizarre nature when attempting a conversion on the stroke of halftime. Barbarians halfback Peter Stringer of Ireland ran 30 metres to 'chargedown' his attempt - in the end taking the ball off the kicking tee. O'Connor looked on in disbelief as referee Romain Poite called halftime.

Despite not playing for five weeks, it didn't take long for the Wallabies to find their groove, finishing with eight tries and an abundance of excellent performers.

Read more on the Brisbane Times


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