Barbarians v Argentina
Free-running Pumas overwhelm all-star Barbarians
Rob Bartlett at Twickenham
November 21, 2015
Report Match details
Date/Time: Nov 21, 2015, 15:05 local, 15:05 GMT
Venue: Twickenham Stadium, London
Barbarians 31 - 49 Argentina
Attendance: 0  Half-time: 12 - 28
Tries: Kuridrani, Matfield, Nadolo, Naholo, Tomane
Cons: Nadolo 2, Sopoaga
Tries: Cordero 2, de la Fuente, Isa, Landajo, Moyano Joya, Sanchez
Cons: Boffelli, Sanchez 6
Argentinas Full Back Ramiro Moyano (R) celebrates scoring his try with Argentinas Scrum Half Martin Landajo during the International rugby union match between Argentina and the Barbarians
Argentina full back Ramiro Moyano (R) celebrates his try with scrum-half Martin Landajo
© AFP/Getty Images
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Argentina finished a glorious four months of international rugby in England as they lifted the Killik Cup with a pulsating 49-31 victory over the Barbarians at Twickenham.

Celebrations for the Baa-Baas 125th anniversary were put on hold as Daniel Hourcade's side, beaten in the Rugby World Cup's bronze medal final by South Africa just three weeks ago, produced a bravura performance to warm 38,101 hardy spectators on a freezing cold afternoon in west London.

This was a performance of real gusto from Argentina; they had not faced the Barbarians since 1990, when they were beaten 34-22 in Cardiff, but made sure the likes of Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield, both gracing the international stage for the final time in their respective careers, would not get the swansong they hoped for.

Barbarians 31-49 Argentina (Australia only)

Argentina were under pressure throughout the opening 15 minutes and it was only a matter of time before the Barbarians, who sported All Blacks World Cup winners Nehe Milner-Skudder, Waisake Naholo and Charlie Faumina amongst their ranks, crossed over for their first try. Tevita Kuridrani bundled on top of a neatly-placed grubber with fly-half Lima Sopoaga adding the extras with ease.

The Pumas, though, soon found themselves in front thanks to a quickfire double. Number eight Facundo Isa dived over from two yards following a trademark Argentina maul, before Nicolas Sanchez levelled the scores with the simplest of conversions.

Santiago Cordero, who impressed throughout the World Cup, went over for their second try shortly after being denied from a typical free-flowing move across the Argentina backs. The left winger ran out of space on the first occasion but, following great work from Guido Petti, enjoyed a simple finish close to the posts two minutes later. Sanchez had no trouble with the conversion.

Argentina began to run riot. Kuridrani dropped a loose catch on the Pumas 22 and Cordero broke with electric pace; his deft behind-the-back offload wrong-footed Milner-Skudder and set Ramiro Moyano free to dive between the posts, leaving a bread and butter kick for Sanchez to further extend their lead.

Waisake Naholo thought he reduced the deficit on the cusp of halftime, latching onto Sopoaga's high kick to sidestep Matias Moroni and slide over the line, before Argentina's counter-attacking pace allowed Cordero to race onto an Isa grubber and ground under pressure.

The second half started slowly before replacement Leonardo Senatore broke clear of the Baa Baas backline to release Landajo for Argentina's fourth try. Sanchez, as he did throughout the World Cup, split the posts with immaculate precision. Senatore again pulled the strings for try number five, this time after the Barbarians lost the ball just six metres from the try line. Jeronimo De La Fuente had a simple finish before Sanchez made it five from five with the boot.

Replacement Joe Tomane gave the Barbarians slim hope as he broke away on the left for an easy score, with Nadolo converting to add gloss. Botha came on to a rousing reception for his final appearance, although the departing Lood De Jager was wrongly announced as Matfield.

'Swing Low' sounded from the stands -- with the odd Mexican Wave accompaniment -- in a largely scrappy final 10 minutes. Nadolo thundered through the Argentina backline to score on the left side and neatly convert with his fluorescent yellow boot.

The brilliant Sanchez then broke on the right after another Baa Baas handling error to finish with poise, before calmly floating his sixth and final conversion between the posts.

However, it was fitting that the departing Matfield and Botha had the final say. With seconds remaining, Matfield dived over in the far right corner before Botha was handed the conversion attempt: it may have been nowhere near the posts, but it summed up the spirit of the whole occasion.

Argentina winger Santiago Cordero scores as he is challenged by Barbarians winger Waisake Naholo © Getty Images
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