Friday 17 November 2017

Murphy on target but Cronin hurt

Barbarians 27 Tonga 24

Barbarians' George Bridge goes over for his side's second try despite pressure from Tonga's Takalua Sonatane. Photo: PA Wire
Barbarians' George Bridge goes over for his side's second try despite pressure from Tonga's Takalua Sonatane. Photo: PA Wire

James Cronin's early injury marred an entertaining game at Thomond Park, as both sides scored four tries as the Barbarians edged out Tonga.

The Munster loosehead limped off after ten minutes, but Taqele Naiyaravoro, Vince Aso, Jordi Murphy and Andy Ellis scored they key tries for Barbarians.

Replacement Sione Vailanu scored twice for Tonga, after earlier efforts from Ateli Pakalani and Fotu Lokotui but they couldn't do enough.

There was a moment's applause as the Barbarians stood in a figure of eight before kick-off, which was led by former Munster player Donncha O'Callaghan, in memory of Anthony Foley.

Tonga led after just two minutes when Pakalani scored, and they moved 14-0 ahead through a Lokotui score.

The Barbarians finally got into the game when Naiyaravoro romped home in the 19th minute, while Robert du Preez converted Aso's try in the 22nd minute, and then tagged on a penalty for a 15-14 half-time lead.

Tonga scored first in the second half, but Murphy and Ellis scored tries off rolling mauls, which saw the Baa-Baas to the win.

Barbarians - G Bridge; T Naiyaravoro (D Smith 65), R Buckman, H Vorster, V Aso; R du Preez, N Stirzaker (A Ellis 16); J Cronin (J van Rooyen 10), A van der Merwe (A Strauss 51), B Scott (R Smith 40); G Parling (D O'Callaghan 40), Q Roux (S Carter 45); J Murphy, S Favaro (J Muldoon 51), W Britz.

Tonga - A Pakalani; D Halaifonua, N Tuitavake, T Taufui (F Paea 14) (P Latu 51-60, 69), C Vuna; K Hala, S Takalua (S Tuumotooa 71); P Faanunu (L Talakai 45), S Lea (M Ngauamo 63), B Tameifuna (H Aulika 51); L Fifita (O Kaufisi 51), S Mafi; D Faleafa, F Lokotui, M Vaipulu (S Vailanu '51).

Ref - F Murphy (IRFU)

Irish Independent

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