Sarah Levy stars for Barbarians Women against South Africa in record attendance at Twickenham

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  • Natasha Hunt
    Natasha Hunt
    English rugby union footballer
Sarah Levy stars for the Barbarians Women against South Africa in record attendance at Twickenham - PA
Sarah Levy stars for the Barbarians Women against South Africa in record attendance at Twickenham - PA

Barbarians 60 South Africa 5

Natasha Hunt revealed how she and her Barbarians team-mates had to make a mad taxi scramble to Twickenham Stadium to keep the Barbarians flag flying high.

While the men’s team were left holding their heads in further shame and embarrassment as yet another Covid-19 outbreak in camp meant their clash with Samoa was called off at the last moment, the women more than stepped up to the mark to capture the limelight.

They dished out a 10-try demolition of South Africa with England fly-half Katy Daley-Mclean, who amassed 15 points, outstanding in her final game before retiring in front of a record 29,581 crowd for a women’s rugby union match.

But it took some real speed and decisive moves off the field to get the show on the road having been given short notice of a sudden change of start time. The men’s contest was cancelled just 90 minutes prior to kick-off due to six positive Covid tests in the Barbarians camp – a year after 13 of them broke a Covid bubble and caused the clash with England to be called off. Hunt, Daley-Mclean and the rest of their Barbarians team defied the chaos and panic to produce a sparkling performance that left South Africa shell-shocked.

Captain Hunt lifted the Killik Cup and then said: “All of a sudden we had to get a wiggle on and plan how we could get here as quickly as possible! I got here in an Uber and anyone who had an account was on their phones to get one sorted. It was a little bit carnage but we managed it. And it was certainly worth it. All the team were superb today. It was a magical occasion.”

Player of the match Daley-Mclean slipped easily back to her best despite hanging up her Test boots a year ago after 116 caps, 542 points and a mass of brilliant displays for her country. She said: “It’s been a strange day with having to dash to Twickenham. What happened with the guys wasn’t great but it doesn’t get any more special than this.”

Barbarians coach Jo Yapp insisted: “For the players to perform in front of such a large crowd here was something they will always remember.”

It took Daley-Mclean six minutes to show her magic with a perfectly weighted cross-field kick which dropped nicely into the hands of Sarah Levy and the US Eagles wing had the easiest task to fall over the line for the opening try. Daley-Mclean converted and then raced over for a try herself, cutting in from the left wing to score.

French lock Lenaig Corson followed her across for the third try after Hunt had been tackled short after bursting clear. But the try of the first half came from a stunning piece of silky running skill from the only Scot gracing the Twickenham grass. Rhona Lloyd left rivals trailing in her wake as she weaved her way across from 40 metres. Daley-Mclean added the extras again and South Africa were already breathing heavily.

Levy swooped over the line for her second after just 31 minutes as the Barbarians were amassing a point a minute.

South Africa finally managed to mount their first serious attack of the first half but it came from a fierce tackle by Simamkele Namba who grabbed the loose ball and raced over the Barbarians line. However, her celebrations were cut short as it was deemed she had knocked the ball forward in the tackle. Her despair increased as she watched Hunt make an interception from the back of a scrum and race her way over for the sixth Barbarians try. Daley-Mclean converted for a 38-0 half-time lead.

South Africa fly-half Zenay Jordaan failed to put the first points on the board for her side when she missed a straightforward penalty kick in front of the posts – striking an upright and bouncing out. The Barbarians’ onslaught continued with a driving maul from a well-worked line-out close to the line seeing veteran Ireland prop Lindsay Peat, 41, rise to take the pats on the back before missing the conversion herself.

South Africa were reduced to 14 players with centre Chumisa Qawe sent to the sin-bin while Levy completed her hat-trick racing over in the left corner.

One of the biggest cheers came for replacement prop and doctor Simi Pam and the Bristol Bears loosehead rose to claim the next Barbarians try – a charge over from close range. Ireland’s Ciara Griffin added the 10th before replacement Ayanda Malinga scored five minutes from time for South Africa’s only points.

Match details

Scoring sequence: Scores 5-0 Levy try, 7-0 Daley-Mclean con, 12-0 Daley-Mclean try, 17-0 Corson try, 19-0 Daley-Mclean con, 24-0 Lloyd try, 26-0 Daley-Mclean con, 31-0 Levy try, 36-0 Hunt try, 38-0 Daley-Mclean con, 43-0 Peat try, 48-0 Levy try, 53-0 Pam try, 55-0 Daley-Mclean con, 55-5 Malinga try, 60-5 Griffin try.

Barbarians: B Mataitoga; R Lloyd, S Naoupu, J Murphy (M Peyronnet, 66), S Levy (K Mason 60); K Daley-Mclean, N Hunt (S Wong 66); L Peat (R Clark 51), L Russell (I Rico Vazquez 66), H Rogers (S Pam 54); A Washington (S Green 51), L Corson; C Griffin, K Paguin, A Caplice (B Dainton 60).
South Africa: E Webb; N Mabenge, J Cilliers (D Snyders 60), C Qawe, S Namba; Z Jordaan (A Malinga 60), U Tose (R Potgieter 60); A Ntoyanto (S Charlie 31), M Gunter (L Gwala 31), B Latsha (M Mazibukwana 58), N Booi, R Mkhari (L Makua 66), L Dumke, C Jacobs, S Solontsi (S Mcatshulwa 31).
Yellow Card: Qawe.
Referee: Clara Munarini (France).
Attendance: 29,581.

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