The Barbarians 25 New Zealand 18

The Barbarians beat the All Blacks 25-18 at Twickenham yesterday afternoon in a scintillating game of rugby. Bryan Habana scored a brilliant hat-trick in a match which was the perfect remedy for a November series devoid of excitement.

Although they fielded largely a second string team, New Zealand were looking to preserve their 100 per cent record on the tour so far and had only ever lost once to the Ba Bas back in 1973 when Gareth Edwards scored 'that' try.

Despite having had less than a week together and just a couple of training sessions ahead of yesterday's game the Barbarians boasted a host of world class players made up primarily from Tri-Nations teams South Africa and Australia.

Habana was the star performer on the day underlining why he is regarded as the best finisher in the world although Australian fly-half Matt Giteau also illustrated just what a class act he is with a composite performance which should have gone a long way to exorcise the demons of the loss to Scotland.

Ben Smith and Anthony Boric both dotted down for New Zealand in what turned out to be a highly competitive game closer to a Test match in tone rather than an end of tour exhibition match. The joy on the faces of the Barbarians players at the final whistle revealed just how much the victory meant.

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