I got good help for my tries
Nick Abendanon came to South Africa for a wedding and stayed on to score a hat-trick of tries as England triumphed 57-31 against Northern Barbarians in Potchefstroom Tuesday.
The fullback also played a key role in two other tries among the seven scored by the visitors, who finished strongly after the Barbarians trimmed a 31-10 half-time deficit to just seven points.
Bath-based Abendanon, born in an up-scale Johannesburg suburb 25 years ago, flew to South Africa this month for a wedding and was then called up by coach Stuart Lancaster when injured Mike Brown had to return home.
The Man of the Match at a chilly Olen Park in this north-west university town played down his 15-point contribution later, saying his teammates made it easy for him.
"I got good help for my tries and I thought Jonny May was outstanding when he replaced Ugo [Monye]. Hopefully a few of the team are going to push for Test places this weekend," said Abendanon.
A second consecutive midweek win for England over a Barbarians selection was marred by a first-half injury to left wing Monye, making his first appearance on the five-match tour after recovering from a hamstring problem.
The 29-year-old British and Irish Lion was carried off in a neck brace after eight minutes of treatment and taken to a local hospital for a precautionary scan.
"Ugo was knocked out during the tackle. He was taken to hospital but has come round and is fine, although a bit groggy," England head coach Stuart Lancaster told reporters.
"I have just had a medical update, but I think he will be travelling back with us. He will go through the concussion protocols and will struggle to be fit for [the third Test on] Saturday."
A BaaBaas side composed of northern-based players in the First Division - the second tier of South Africa's domestiuc competitioon - took an early 10-3 lead, then conceded four tries before staging a stirring second-half fightback to trail 31-24 approaching the hour mark.
But if Abendanon punished the South Africans in the opening half, fellow tour replacement May proved a scourge in the second as he scored tries after 63 and 70 minutes to turn the tide back in favour of the tourists.