Contepomi kicks BaaBaas to victory

Tue, 29 May 2012 21:36
Large felipe contepomi baabaas 63
Felipe Contepomi kicked a 78th minute penalty as the Barbarians edged Ireland 29-28 in the second of their three matches in a week.
Argentinian ace Felipe Contepomi kicked a 78th minute penalty as the Barbarians edged Ireland 29-28 in the second of their three matches in a week.

Following their 57-26 drubbing at the hands of England at the weekend, and fielding a much changed side at Kingsholm, the BaaBaas matches the Irish selection every step of the way on Tuesday.

The sparse 11,654 people that turned up were certainly getting value for money, as both sides ran the ball.

Ireland were trying out a few variations in different parts of the pitch ahead of their tour to New Zealand, but they were well steered by veteran Ronan O'Gara.

And on the other corner was Puma veteran Contepomi, as the teams scored four tries each. O'Gara kicked four conversions, Contepomi landed three conversions and that late penalty.

The BaaBaas opened their account in the 11th minute - as Iain Balshaw went over for the opening try. The BaaBaas recycled well and Paul Sackey - one of only a handful that remained from the loss to England - went on a good run to put the former Gloucester man, Balshaw, over in the corner. Contepomi made it 7-0 with the conversion.

Four minutes later Craig Gilroy scored for the Irish - coming after a turnover ball was swept out to the wing and Gilroy pirouetted and barged over. O'Gara was impeccable as ever with the conversion, 7-all.

The try-scoring continued as Cornelius van Zyl gave the BaaBaas the lead - with pressure creating the opportunity for Van Zyl crash over the line from excellent continuity play. Contepomi was wide withy the conversion - 12-7.

Ireland hit the lead for the first time in the 25th minute - Keith Earls going over after Ireland looked to run, as Gilroy broke out of his own half, fed to O'Mahony, who offloaded to Earls to score. O'Gara added the conversion - 14-12.

Minutes later Sackey got on the scoreboard, after he busted through from a quick tap penalty on the 10-metre line and ran it under the posts. Contepomi added the conversion - 19-14.

That is how it stayed until the half-time break.

The Irish again hit back soon after the restart, Simon Zebo going over. It started with a strong drive from the line-out, then quick ball from the maul - with penalty advantage - and quick hands that saw Zebo over in the corner. Accurate as ever O'Gara lands the kick from the touchline - 21-19.

And still, the ding-dong battle on the scoreboard continued - Mike Tindall going over in the 58th minute. The BaaBaas worked a line-out well and sent it wide. Tindall came across to finish in the corner. Contepomi added the conversion - 26-21.

Gilroy got his second in the 64th minute, after great work at a ruck and Ireland recycled again and again. Loughney went close before Earls floated one for Gilroy. O'Gara kept his 100 percent strike-rate - 28-26.

Contepomi defied BaaBaas tradition to kick the winning penalty two minutes from time - 29-28.

The scorers:

For the Barbarians:
Tries: Balshaw, Van Zyl, Sackey, Tindall
Cons: Contepomi 3
Pen: Contepomi

For Ireland:
Tries: Earls, Gilroy 2, Zebo
Cons: O'Gara 4


Barbarians: 15 Cedric Heymans, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Damien Traille, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Felipe Contepomi, 9 Rory Lawson, 8 Raphael Lakafia, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Mamuka Gorgodze, 5 Cornelius van Zyl, 4 Mick O'Driscoll (captain), 3 John Afoa, 2 Benoit August, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Aled de Malmanche, 17 Neemia Tialata, 18 Pelu Taele, 19 Akapusi Qera, 20 Richie Rees, 21 Stephen Donald, 22 Isa Nacewa.

Ireland: 15 Keith Earls, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ronan O'Gara (captain), 9 Conor Murray, 8 Peter O'Mahony, 7 Chris Henry, 6 John Muldoon, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Dan Tuohy, 3 Declan Fitzpatrick, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Rory Best, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 Donncha O'Callaghan, 19 James Coughlan, 20 Paul Marshall, 21 Nevin Spence, 22 Andrew Trimble.

Referee: Jérôme Garces (France)