Barbarians turn attention to real deal

by Sam Phillips

The Barbarians have been given a pass mark by coach Alan Jones after they scraped home against the Classic Wallabies in Lismore.

Jones' side shot out to a 27-12 lead with 20 to play but the Classics made things interesting late in the piece, crossing two tries in as many minutes to set up a grandstand finish with 10 to play.

The Barbarians held on in front of 3000 people at Crozier Field and Jones told he was pleased with what he saw on field.

"It was tighter than I thought it would be," Jones said.

"But to be fair, the two final tries they scored we were in attacking positions.Sef Faagase and the Barbarians held on in Lismore. Photo: Walmsley"I thought we did that very well, we perhaps just got a bit tired at the end and ran out of people, quite frankly."

Jones said his side brandished the type of football he hoped they would, instilling confidence in some players that may have not done a great deal of ball playing in the past.

"I was very pleased with the kind of football that we played," he said.

"We didn't finish it off as we might have and the other crowd played very well.

"We've enjoyed it and I think we may well have changed the mindset of the players.

"The forwards looked comfortable playing with the football and that's what I like.

"Yeah, ok you make mistakes and we did make mistakes but I wasn't worried about that.

"They proved a bit costly and the opposition got close to us but I thought we showed a lot of courage in defence and we transferred that into attack pretty well."

Jones' chief playmaker for Saturday's clash with the Wallabies agreed.

"It was great to watch and that's the main thing with a Barbarians game, that you're entertained, and the way that game finished, everybody was out of their seats," Quade Cooper said.

"I was just gutted that I wasn't out there to be a part of it."

Jones also praised the big crowd that turned out in support of the Lismore Flood Relief Fund.Quade Cooper gave the clash the thumbs up. Photo: Walmsley"The fact that Lismore people - after all they have been through - and we had the marks on the goal posts to indicate the flood levels in March, it was unbelievable," he said.

"To come here and let these people know that we are here for them and thinking of them - we may not have raised a lot of dough but it's the spirit of it and the right thing to do.

"The Barbarians only play four games in the world this year and one of them was here, in Lismore."

As the Barbarians turn their attention to Saturday's clash, Cooper denied any suggestion that he would use the match as an audition for the upcoming Spring Tour.

"This is more about having fun and doing something for myself, rather than going out there and trying to prove a point or do anything like that," he said.

"It's just about having a good time and getting the opportunity to go out there and represent the Barbarians - which is something I have wanted to do for a long time.

"To get the opportunity to do that - I am very grateful for that and it's cool that's it is going to be against the Wallabies.

"It will be a little bit weird but I'm looking forward to it."

The Wallabies take on the Barbarians on Saturday October 28, kicking off at 3pm AEDT, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via Network Ten.