Cooper stars as Reds thrash Barbarians - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cooper stars as Reds thrash Barbarians

By Jim Morton 13/07/2008 05:30:41 PM Comments (0)

Five-eighth Quade Cooper starred as the Queensland Reds sent veteran flanker David Croft out a winner with a 61-17 caning of the Australian Barbarians at Ballymore.

Cooper scored two tries and set up several others as the Reds crossed nine times against a Barbarians team featuring 10 current and former international players.

Former Wallaby loose forward Croft, who announced his retirement from professional rugby during the Super 14, was given the honour of kicking the final three conversions from in front of the posts as Queensland loped over for three tries in the last 10 minutes.

The stars weren't confined to the field with radio broadcaster Alan Jones coaching the Barbarians and former Wallabies fullback Chris Latham acting as waterboy.

In a match promoted as an entertaining farewell to Croft and homecoming for Japan-based ex-Wallaby Toutai Kefu, the players did their best to pull out the razzle-dazzle.

Jones responded on the tactics front with the Barbarians producing a tap-kick wall as well an overhead kick next to the tryline from two successive first-half penalties.

Interviewed in front of Ballymore's main stand at half-time, Jones promised a few more tricks after the break.

"We've got a few up our sleeve but I'm not sure if the boys can remember them, we're a little bit tired," he said.

Headliner Kefu, unsuccessfully chased by Queensland last year, showed he could still cut it in the Super 14 with a hard-hitting display at No.8.

Kefu saved a certain Reds try when he crunched Wallabies winger Digby Ioane who ignored support on either side after a 60m bust on counter-attack.

The try of the match was a 75m backline effort sparked by Ioane and brilliantly finished by teenage fullback Aidan Toua who has signed a two-year Reds contract.

When fellow 18-year-old Luke Morahan chipped and chased to cross five minutes later, Queensland was as good as home at 33-17 up with 28 minutes to play.

The scoreline could have been even bigger if not for Toua embarrassingly dropping the ball 15m from the line after burning off all the Barbarians defenders.

Toua did get his second late in the game when Morgan Turinui capped a fine display by setting up a third try by breaking the defence and drawing the fullback.

Morahan finished with a hat-trick.

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