A gritty Australia’s Schools Barbarians outfit has been outclassed by New Zealand in their Tri-Nations opener, 49-6.
New Zealand put on pressure on the Barbarians immediately and outside centre Isaiah Punivai scored in just the third minute of the match.
The Aussies didn’t let that early score get them down, though, putting pressure on the Kiwis in their attacking zone and managed to draw first blood through a Campbell Parata penalty.
Australian openside Tom Kibble exercised his influence as they tried to hit back in Sydney’s north, the flanker’s counter-rucking keeping the Barbarians in the mix.
A dangerous tackle from New Zealand lock Tupou Vaal gave the Aussies a one-man advantage and Parata duly slotted the ensuing penalty.
Three-pointers weren’t enough, though, to stem the Kiwi scoring, with Etene Nanai scoring and then setting up tighthead prop George Dyer for their third of the afternoon, still down a player.
Fullback Danny Toala added to their advantage at almost every opportunity, and only a desperate Joey Walton tackle and Kibble dive stopped the New Zealander from adding a try to his tally.
Vaai was back on the field and making the Barbarians pay just shy of the break, with the Kiwis’ fourth giving them all the momentum at the break.
Nanai’s second in the 49th minute, a spectacular length-of-the-field effort, put the match all but out of reach of the Barbarians.
The Australian bench injected some timely energy as the game ticked on, led by replacement prop Moses Alo-Emile, but set piece teething problems caused them some headaches.
New Zealand winger Leicester Faingaanuku scored his fourth tournament try, leaving the Australians in his wake to extend the gap to 36 points.
Replacement Australian back Dylan Dowling looked assured of a try as he streaked down the middle but dropped the ball cold.
Though they had plenty of possession late, the Aussies were unable to draw a try in the clash, and New Zealand replacement hooker Abraham Pole added the final score after full-time.
Australian Lachlan Osborne had an early exit with an injury, in the 42nd minute, adding salt to the wound for the home side.
Australia's Barbarians take on Fiji on Saturday, while New Zealand will meet Australia in the final clash of the competition.
Australia Barbarians 6
Pens : Parata 2
New Zealand 49
Tries: Nanai 2, Punivai, Dyer, Taai, Faingaanuku, Pole
Cons: Toala 7
Yellow card: Vaai (16’)