10 of the most memorable moments in the Barbarians' history

We look back at some of the best, funniest, and strangest moments from the Baa Baas’ past.

Image: S&G

THE BARBARIANS DESCEND on Limerick this week as they take on Ireland at Thomond Park.

While you often lose the intensity of test rugby when the Barbarians are in town, they tend to make up for it with some incredibly free-flowing rugby, and with players like Joe Rokocoko, Alex Cuthbert and Ruan Pienaar in the backline for Thursday’s fixture, there should be plenty of entertainment on show in Limerick.

Offload-laden tries, length of the pitch winners, inventive set-pieces, and one or two head-scratching moments, we’ve picked out 10 of our favourite clips from the Baa-Baas’ history to whet your appetite for Thursday.

1. The greatest try of them all

The most famous Barbarians try of them all just so happens to be the most famous try of them all.

Phil Bennett started things just metres from his own goal line, and 24 seconds and six passes later Welsh scrumhalf Gareth Edwards dived over the line for a score that would be replayed for decades to come.

When you think of the Barbarians, it’s the first thing that comes to mind.

Source: WRURugby/YouTube

2. The other try from 73…

Arguably the most breathless two-and-a-half minutes of rugby we’ll ever see. Had it not been for Edwards’ try earlier in the game, this could well have gone down as the greatest ever Baa-Baas moment.

Similarly to the Edwards effort, it contains tonnes of the offloading and high-risk rugby that have made the Barbarians such a joy to watch. It’s hard to think of a game with two tries of such insane quality.

Source: MottiRugby/YouTube

3. Campese’s no-look pass

The Baa-Baas celebrated their centenary in 1990 with games against England and Wales, and it was in the 18-16 defeat to the English at Twickenham that we saw another in the long list of stunning scores from the Barbarians.

The quick penalty is taken and New Zealander Richard Loe drives up the middle before offloading on the fall to the oncoming Eric Rush.

A sprightly and incredibly blonde Neil Back then angles things out to the wing and David Campese, who takes out two English defenders with a stunning no-look overhead pass.

Davies eventually finishes off in the corner after yet another classic Barbarians score.

Source: raidz06/YouTube

4. Paulse’s hat-trick in 12 try thriller

Australia and the Barbarians shared 84 points at the Millennium Stadium in 2001, the Aussies coming out the right side of a 12-try slug-fest 49-35.

South African winger Breyton Paulse scored a hat-trick for the Baa-Baas that day, but it was his second that will be best remembered.

It’s not often a prop forward executes such a perfect chip over the top, but Welsh loose-head Darren Morris did just that to allow Mark Andrews to beak the first line of defence. Another kick over the top from Stefan Terblanche let Olivier Magne take the hard line for the corner, before checking back inside to send Paulse over.

And if the try wasn’t good enough, the celebration was even better.

Source: raidz06/YouTube

5. Victory against the Springboks in 1994

Lansdowne Road was the venue in 1994 as the Baa-Baas eked out a 23-15 win against a South African side containing 13 players who would go on to win the World Cup half a year down the line.

The Barbarians picked an all-Irish front row that day in Dublin, with Keith Wood sandwiched between props Peter Clohessey and Nick Popplewell.

6. Isa Nacewa’s stunning winner in 2011

The only man able to rival Sean Óg Ó hAilpín in the list of Ireland’s favourite Fijians, the Leinster legend scored this amazing individual try in the final seconds of the Barbarians’ 31-28 win against Wales in 2011.

Nacewa stood in at out-half before attacking on the loop from deep, skipping, weaving and sidestepping four tackles to make it to the tryline. A try from absolutely nothing.

Source: VicMackey0/YouTube

7. Stringer robbing James O’Connor blind

A go-to clip for the “What Happened Next” round at any sports quiz. Peter Stringer showed the bare-faced cheek of any good scrum-half when he charged down O’Connor’s conversion attempt in 2011, before picking the ball off the tee, and running down the tunnel for his half-time break.

The stunned look on O’Connor’s face just says it all.

Source: gradarich/YouTube

8. Tomas Cubelli’s overhead kick

The kind of invention and madness you will probably only see in a Barbarians game.

With a penalty five metres from the Australian line, Argentinean scrum-half Tomas Cubelli decided to take a quick tap. But rather than popping off to one of his onrushing forwards, Cubelli launched a kick back over his head for his forwards to contest.

Unfortunately, it was knocked on when Angus Ta’avao and Colin Slade both competed for the ball, but it sums up just what Barbarians rugby is all about.

Source: Ruddy Darter/YouTube

9. More set-piece madness

If you can’t try a completely daft training ground move with the Baa-Baas, then when can you?

In the same meeting with the Aussies from last November, Steven Luatua gave the crowd an indication of what was to come when he attempted to throw an NFL style pass 30 yards across the pitch to winger Nick Cummins.

While the pass was one Tom Brady would be proud of, Cummins couldn’t hold onto the ball after arriving at it at full speed. Unsurprisingly this game finished 40-36, in Australia’s favour.

Source: Rugbydumper/YouTube

10. Schalk Brits takes things a little bit too far

The Baa-Baas provided opposition for the British and Irish Lions in Hong Kong prior to the 2013 tour of Autralia, and the most memorable moment from the 50-8 win for Warren Gatland’s side was this crazy fight involving Saracens team-mates Owen Farrell and Schalk Brits.

Farrell held back the hooker as he attempted to pillar a ruck before Brits saw red and swung a left hook straight into the jaw of his club teammate.

Farrell looked completely dumbfounded, pushing Brits over in retaliation. For the day that was in it, referee Steve Walsh decided to let Brits off with just a yellow card.

Source: POZ Sports/YouTube

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About the author:

Neil Treacy

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