This weekend’s clash between New Zealand and the Barbarians and Twickenham has been described as a glorified All Blacks trial, given the quotient of Kiwi talent in the ‘Baa Baas” line-up.
But Flashback Friday relives a movement dubbed ‘The Try of the Century’, scored by the Brit-stacked Barbarians against the touring 1973 All Blacks – arguably the greatest moment in the invitational side’s history.
Widely regarded as one of the finest games of rugby ever played, the Cardiff Arms Park clash was won 23-11 by the composite Barbarians line-up after 80 minutes of sparkling attack and counterattack.
Legendary Wales halfback Gareth Edwards’ try in the opening minutes was the undeniable highlight. Started on the Barbarians’ line by a hot-stepping Phil Bennett, the great Welsh flyhalf, and ending with the No.9 streaking away down the sideline, the four-pointer (rugby union did not increase the value of tries to five points until 1992) stacks up in any era.
Beauden Barrett will captain the All Blacks for the first time this weekend, with boom hooker Asafo Aumua, Tasman prop Tim Perry and former Kiwis rugby league Test winger Matt Duffie set to debut off the bench.
The Barbarians’ squad includes the likes of All Blacks-eligible Dominic Bird, Steven Luatua, Luke Whitelock, Vince Aso, Richard Buckman, Julian Savea and Richie Mo’unga, along with Aussies Nic Stirzaker, Taqele Naiyaravoro and Sam Carter.