Local legends of the rugby scene, Terry Preston and Tom Matthews from Gordon Rugby club represented the Australian Barbarians against the Australian U20’s in a physical game, skill being shown by both teams for the entirety of the match.
Preston and Matthews play for Gordon Rugby Club, and have been selected for the Barbarian squad for 2014.
Jack Dempsey also plays for Gordon and was selected for the Australian Under20s squad. However, Dempsey was out for tonight, injured, but apparently has been cleared for the first rounds of international tournament.
The game started hard and fast, the Australian team showing their determination to put a good win on the Barbarians, stripping the ball off the kick off receiver and scoring under the posts within the first minute.
The Barbarians returned with some strong running from Tala Gray in 8. Pressure was maintained as the Australian team were held inside their own half until Teqele Naiyaravoro in 14, for the Barbarians, was able to score in the corner.
Impressive, strong running was the Australian teams response as Jim Stewart was able to crash the ball up repetitively. Tevita Vea, the hooker, made an attempt at the line but was held up. Immediately after the resulting try, Vea was able to bust the line and capitalise.
The Australian team was now up; 12-5 and were looking to be a powerful force for the upcoming tournament.
They will have to do this without Johnny Vaux in fullback after a sickeningly loud snap was heard from the wing as he went down in an awkward tackle. Fracturing his tibia and fibula just above the ankle; the team will hope for a quick recovery.
The Barbarians conceded another try, as the Australian team seemed to be coming into their own.
Off the succeeding kick off, it seemed there would be another try as the Australian second rowers, Tom Staniforth and Matthew Philip ran the ball intensely, causing damage to a strong Barbarian back line.
Preston, the Barbarian halfback and Gordon boy was impressive in defence, holding his own against some very large and fast ball players from the Australian side.
Impressive line running from Northern Beaches local Jim Stewart in outside centre led to a try as the Australian back-line found proper cohesion.
The score was now 26-5.
Angus Pulver was brought on in halfback for Joe Powell and almost immediately made a break off the scrum, scoring under the posts to make the Australian score even more impressive for half time. 33-10 and the Australian team was becoming a serious force to be reckoned with.
Once the second half was recommenced, both teams exhibited more solid play.
A charge down had led to another try for the Australian team, bringing them up to 40-10.
Solid running was still evident from Tom Matthews, but the Australian defence was proving too strong.
Preston was still able to show his defensive ability among an array of strong attack attempts, cleaning up errors and dishing out hits as the game went on.
Offensive prowess from the Australian team was the crucial factor in allowing them over the line yet again, bringing the score up to 47-15.
Barbarian defence was strong but the Aussie backline’s unity and solidarity is what got them over the line repeatedly.
More pressure was dealt to the barbarians as the Australian team was enforcing a dense defensive boarder that held for minutes on end.
However, solid back play in the centres allowed for Jerome Mckenzie, in 13, to make a cheeky break through, giving it back inside to Terry Preston. The local boy put in an evenly weighted chip and chase that was then picked up by Maguire Tatola for a full field break away and try.
On restart, Tom Matthews was still holding his own, defending well against a relentless and powerful attack.
Australia capitalised with another try, Matthews leaving the field prior to it looking sore from the effort concerted throughout the entire game.
Australia were able to complete the strong show of dominance they had put on, scoring one more try under the posts, putting the game away for the evening.
59-22 was the final score and an implied promise of some great Australian International rugby to come over the next few years as these guys move in to the Wallabies, and an impressive show of skill for the two local boys; Terry Preston and Tom Matthews.