Audio: Barbarians Brushed Off By United South

It was a passionate defensive effort and outstanding incisiveness in attack that gave South of Scotland a well deserved victory at Mansfield Park, this afternoon.

Two tries from Fraser Thomson, both set up by Fraser Harkness, and a third try from Gregor Young brought the Borderers back from a 15-3 deficit to win the historical clash.

It was a passionate defensive effort and outstanding incisiveness in attack that gave South of Scotland a well deserved victory at Mansfield Park, this afternoon.

Two tries from Fraser Thomson, both set up by Fraser Harkness, and a third try from Gregor Young brought the Borderers back from a 15-3 deficit to win the historical clash.

South of Scotland head coach, Craig Chalmers, said: “Neither team had much preparation time leading up to this game, but the guys all came together really well on the day.

“All our guys are amateurs and they were playing against professionals so to get the win was great.

“We stuck to our game plan throughout the match which was to stretch the BaaBaa’s and that paid off in the second half. Also we were pretty tenacious in defence. The guys thoroughly deserved the win.

“There is a lot of rugby talent in the Borders and that was seen today. Hopefully one or two of these guys will get a chance to make the step up and make a career out of their rugby.”

The match started with the Barbarians opting to play a more generic and rigid game of rugby, taking the early points with the boot, while the South were running everything and kicking to touch on all occasions.

The Barbarians then touched down twice in the first half, with Michael McComish and Leigh Hinton putting their names on the score sheet. Fraser Thomson then ran in a try for South of Scotland moments before the closing of the first half.

The second half however was completely dominated by the Borderers with two more tries added to their tally; Fraser Thomson scored a second and Gregor Young scored the fifth and final try of the afternoon.

The game ended with the Barbarians desperately looking to break the South defence but it was in vain as they refused to relent in front of a noisy crowd.

Click here to listen to Barbarians captain, Jim Thompson, and South of Scotland Wing, Fraser Harkness reflect on the game:

Jim Thompson 

Fraser Harkness

Run of play:

The scoring was opened at a sunny Mansfield Park on two minutes with an early penalty allowing, Barbarian’s ten, Cerith Rees to knock over his first penalty of the afternoon and the first three points. 0-3

On five minutes South were patiently trying to break the Barbarians defence in their 22, with assertive bursts coming from captain, Neil McColm and lock, Graeme Dodds, but their efforts were snuffed out as the BaaBaa’s forced a knock-on.

Seb Visser burst down the far touchline, for the Barbarians, receiving an offload from Cristian Petre on nine minutes but South full-back Fraser Thomson was able to close Visser down and knock him into touch.

Moments later Cerith Rees was gifted another opportunity to double the Barbarians lead, but his strike was wayward.

A sneaky inside offload from Tim Usasz in midfield to Seb Visser set the Dutch winger up to kick through and chase for the line, but Fraser Thomson continued to show his worth in the South XV beating the chasing winger to the ball.

21 minutes and Barbarians number eight, Michael McComish, crashed over the whitewash. It took five or six phases bashing against the South defence moving closer with every move. Cerith Rees added the extras. 0-10

Gary Elder was brought on for John Dalziel as the giant second row left the field clutching his shoulder. However not all was bad as Lee Miller struck a penalty from 35 yards. 3-10

Just shy of the half hour mark and Barbarian winger, Leigh Hinton dived over for another try in the near corner, after Ciaran Ruddock and David Kacharva slipped through the South defence and gained the yards. 3-15

A quick line-out from Fraser Harkness in his own 22 allowed Fraser Thomson to turn up the heat and run the ball into the Barbarians half, offloading to hooker, Richard Ferguson the ball was taken into the Barbarians 22. 

With a minute to go in the first half, Fraser Harkness showed his pace again bursting through the Barbarians line in front of the Mansfield Park grandstand. He proceeded to chip the ball over the last defenders and delivering Fraser Thomson the perfect bounce and the chance to run in the first try for the Borderers. Lee Millar missed the conversion. 8-15

Half-time: South of Scotland 8 - 15 Barbarians

Six minutes South had the chance to add three points onto the board, but Lee Miller’s punt was wayward.

14 minutes in to the second half and the two Fraser’s worked their magic again. Harkness brushed off six Barbarian tackles and found Thomson on his left shoulder to run in the last ten yards. Millar levelled the scoreboard with a successful conversion. 15-15

Fraser Harkness once again split the Barbarians defence with another incisive line but his offload was unable to reach his support, on 21 minutes.

South saw the opportunity to kick and chase with ample space behind the Barbarians line. A chase, dribble and scoop from Jed winger, Gregor Young took the Borderers into the lead. Andrew Skeen added the extras. 22-15

The Borderers desperate to keep the lead, saw off a Barbarians skirmish forcing a knock-on after a number of phases on 70 minutes.

Full-time: South of Scotland 22 - 15 Barbarians

South of Scotland: 15 Fraser Thomson; 14 Gregor Young, 13 Jamie Murray, 12 Joe Helps, 11 Fraser Harkness; 10 Lee Millar, 9 Scott McCormick; 1 Robert Ferguson, 2 Richard Ferguson, 3 Bruce McNeil (captain), 4 Graeme Dodds, 5 John Dalziel, 6 Euan Dods, 8 Ross Miller, 7 Darren Gillespie.
Substitutions: 16 Sean Linton (for Robert Ferguson (for Richard Ferguson)), 17 Lindsey Gibson (for Bruce McNeil (for Ross Miller)), 18 Gary Graham (for Euan Dods (for Graeme Dodds)), 19 Garry Elder (for John Dalziel), 20 George Graham (for Scott McCormick), 21 Andrew Skeen (for Lee Millar), 22 Neil Warnock (for Joe Helps).

Barbarians: 15 Jim Thompson (captain); 14 Leigh Hinton, 13 David Kacharva, 12 John Houston, 11 Seb Visser; 10 Cerith Rees, 9 Tim Usasz; 1 Jack O’Connell, 2 Niall Annett, 3 Goderdzi Shvelidze, 4 Euros Evans, 5 Cristian Petre, 6 Ciaran Ruddock, 8 Michael McComish, 7 Chris Davies.
Substitutions: 16 Finlay Gillies (for Niall Annett), 17 Ben Evans (for Jack O’Connell), 18 Gareth Rawlings (for David Kacharva), 19 Rob Baldwin, 20 Graham Wilson (for Tim Usasz), 21 Jamie Davies (for Cerith Rees), 22 Rheon James (for John Houston).

Referee: Andrew McMenemy