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CityPress - - Sport - SIMNIKIWE XABANISA sports@city­press.co.za

Bar­bar­ians (17) 31 South Africa (12) 31

They may have been cast in the role of the guys who turn up at a Guy Fawkes Night party with ear muf­flers and fire ex­tin­guish­ers. But the Spring­boks more than con­trib­uted to the “fes­ti­val rugby” on show in the en­thralling draw against the Bar­bar­ians yes­ter­day.

Hav­ing vowed to play “test rugby” in the game in prepa­ra­tion for their game against Eng­land on Satur­day, the Boks were su­pe­rior in the set pieces, but not so rigidly that they couldn’t get en­ticed by all the run­ning rugby around them.

The Boks gave as good as they got, match­ing the Bar­bar­ians try for try in the 10-try fest, but quite what they learnt from the ex­er­cise will re­main a mys­tery un­til coach Al­lis­ter Coet­zee an­nounces his team to play Eng­land on Thurs­day.

Ow­ing to the trial na­ture of the match, thanks to no fewer than six un­capped play­ers in the start­ing line-up, not much could be learnt other than maybe the break­down and de­fence need ur­gent at­ten­tion if they are to win next week.

Rob­bie Deans’ men put the Bok de­fence un­der im­mense pres­sure in the first 10 min­utes of the match by al­ter­nat­ing shift­ing the ball from con­tact ever so quickly and di­rect run­ning from the likes of gi­ant winger Taqele Nai­yar­a­voro, cen­tre Seta Ta­mani­valu and full-back Me­lani Nanai.

The ap­proach was re­warded with all five of their tries be­ing scored by back­line play­ers.

By con­trast, both the Bok tries were scored from the rolling maul, the first by the om­nipresent Pi­eter-Steph du Toit, who af­ter find­ing the maul un­con­tested turned and sprinted home.

The sec­ond, by flanker Roelof Smit, also had Bar­bar­ians strug­gling to de­fend the maul writ­ten all over it as the hosts splin­tered and al­lowed him to run through al­most in sim­i­lar fash­ion to Du Toit.

PHOTO: JOEL FORD / GETTY IM­AGES

NECK AND NECK Pi­eter-Steph du Toit of South Africa runs with the ball dur­ing the Kil­lik Cup match against the Bar­bar­ians at Wem­b­ley Sta­dium yes­ter­day

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