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Australia routs Barbarians 60-11 at Twickenham

Updated: November 26, 2011, 11:40


TWICKENHAM, England(AP) Australia overcame early rustiness, indiscipline and indecisiveness to score eight tries Saturday and overwhelm the Barbarians 60-11 in the Wallabies' first match since finishing third at the Rugby World Cup last month.

Australia had both Adam Ashley-Cooper and James Slipper sin-binned and spurned at least three try-scoring opportunities but Digby Ioane, Lachie Turner and James Horwill all touched down twice at Twickenham for the Tri-Nations champions.

Rob Horne and Radike Samo also crossed while James O'Connor kicked 20 points but was also responsible for one of the three bad passes that cost his team more points.

Despite its scintillating attacking play, Australia will expect to improve when it concludes its two-game tour at Wales next Saturday.

Turner and Scott Higginbotham threw the other poor passes when Australia looked sure to score, while O'Connor took so long over the conversion of Turner's try that Barbarians scrumhalf Peter Stringer was able to trot forward and steal the ball from him.

But the Wallabies' class and greater cohesiveness meant such errors did not cost them dearly.

Ioane touched down following a pacy midfield break that caught the Baa-Baas defense flat-footed and O'Conner converted for 13-3. Turner went over in the corner from the last move of the first half before O'Connor's sleepy kicking routine.

Australia should have been out of sight by then despite moments of class for the Barbarians from South Africa wing Bryan Habana, center Robbie Fruean and captain Victor Matfield, who was playing his final match before retiring from top-class rugby.

Turner burst through with just one man to beat in the 10th minute but, with support either side of him, seemingly panicked and played a poor pass to no one.

With Australia 13-3 up, O'Connor threw a forward pass after he had done the hard work with a break and Higginbotham passed forward into touch when Turner was calling for a simple ball outside for a clear run to the line.

Australia coach Robbie Deans made three changes early in the second half and one of the replacements, Horwill, took an offload from another, Stephen Moore, to crash over. A blind offload from Cipriani, who until then had put in a solid performance, then went straight to Horne for Australia's fourth try.

Horwill crossed again and Turner collected an inside offload from Ashley-Cooper to go over. Ioane hauled over the line despite the attention of several tacklers to claim his second try and take Australia past 50 points for the second straight meeting with the Barbarians.

Australia won 55-7 when the teams met in Sydney two years ago.

It got worse when Samo touched down and O'Connor converted, with league convert Sam Tomkins scoring in the corner in injury time of his first ever game in union.

Matfield took the conversion, scuffing the ball with a kick that barely traveled any distance toward the posts for a rare lighthearted moment for the Barbarians.

Playing at flyhalf instead of on the wing, O'Connor had kicked Australia into an early lead with a long-range penalty that attracted jeers from the crowd hoping the Wallabies would run the ball.

Australia's decision to spurn the next kicking chance backfired when, following a kick to touch, Tatafu Polota Nau's throw cleared the lineout and went straight to the Barbarians' Mauro Bergamasco. Although the Wallabies got possession back at a scrum, Reuben Fruean intercepted and ran more than 50 meters (yards) to take play up the other end.

The counterattack yielded a penalty to the Barbarians, with fullback Ashley-Cooper given a yellow card for halting the move with a deliberate knock on. Danny Cipriani kicked the resulting penalty to level the scores at 3-3.

Perhaps stung by his side's failure to turn openings into points, O'Connor then drew more jeers as he opted for a long-range drop goal that crept low and flat over the bar.

That made it 6-3 but Australia should have been further ahead but for Turner's misplaced pass.

Ashley-Cooper returned to the field but Australia was fortunate that O'Connor was not ordered to exchange places with him as he took out Bryan Habana after the South Africa wing had kicked ahead in what looked to be a reasonably clear run to the line.

Ioane scored but Australia was back down to 14 when prop Slipper was ordered from the field for 10 minutes for using his shoulder to take out Cipriani with a late tackle following the flyhalf's crossfield kick.

Such indiscipline could cost Australia against Wales in what will be a rerun of the teams' third-place playoff at the World Cup. Australia won that match 21-8.

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