- Three for Chris Ashton as England score eight in 50 point victory
- Debutants Christian Wade and Jonathan Joseph (2) also bag tries
England 57 Barbarians 26
Chris Ashton scored a hat trick as England eased to a 57-26 victory over the Barbarians and lifted the Killik Cup with a performance of intensity and ambition which ensures Stuart Lancaster’s side can approach to tour to South Africa in good heart.
London Wasps wing Christian Wade capped a busy and encouraging performance on debut with a second-half score, while fellow England Under 20 graduate Jonathan Joseph came off the bench for half an hour and helped himself to two tries.
Returning hooker Dylan Hartley and replacement scrum half Richard Wigglesworth grabbed the other scores as England ran up their biggest ever total against the Barbarians.
After Saracens centre Owen Farrell slotted an early penalty, England scored the first of eight tries when Ashton collected Lee Dickson’s cleverly disguised inside pass to trot over under the posts in the 18th minute.
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The hosts showed a willingness to swing the ball wide at every opportunity and lock Mouritz Botha – who was everywhere in a typically hardworking display – put his head down and charged for the corner on the half hour mark, only to be kept out but some brave Barbarians defending.
But the invitational side struck back three minutes later, with New Zealand’s 100-Test cap full back Mils Muliaina finishing classily after former England wing Iain Balshaw’s chip ahead bounced into his path. Fellow Kiwi and 2011 Rugby World Cup hero Stephen Donald added the extras.
But England took control in the closing moments of the half as the Northampton contingent continued to come to the fore. First Hartley scored after a clinical catch-and-drive lineout move and then Ashton scooted over for his second after Hartley’s powerful break provided the space for Farrell to deliver a simple scoring pass.
Ashton, who had endured six games without a try for England, collected his hat trick just five minutes after the break before Muliaina – who excelled in attack and defence all afternoon – collected Casey Laulala’s stunning offload to score in the corner.
Photo: Getty Images
As the game reached the hour mark, Wade, who had earlier gone close to chasing down a chip, marked his debut with a try. The 21-year-old looked dangerous with his pace throughout but on this occasion he had the simple task of ambling over the line after captain Phil Dowson’s perfectly timed pass.
The heat rose in the Twickenham sunshine but the tries kept on coming, with former England captain Mike Tindall barging through two would-be tacklers after taking a quick tap penalty. Then replacement No.9 Wigglesworth neatly sidestepped his way under the posts after Ashton raced clear down the right.
Joseph became the second senior debutant to score, collecting Farrell’s kick to take advantage of a gaping hole in the Barbarians defence, before replacement Raphael Lakafia grabbed a late consolation for the visitors. London Irish outside centre Joseph then added further gloss at the death, collecting Wade's neat off load to score.
Farrell, who started at inside centre and played half an hour at fly half, ended with 17 points.
England v Barbarians teams
England: Foden; Ashton, Barritt, Farrell, Wade; Hodgson, Dickson; Stevens, Hartley, Doran-Jones, Botha, Palmer, Johnson, Fearns, Dowson.
Replacements: Goode for Foden (50), Joseph for Hodgson (50), Wigglesworth for Dickson (61), Mullan for Stevens (41), Launchbury for Botha (56), Gibson for Fearns (56), Mears for Dowson (60).
Barbarians: Muliaina; Sackey, Laulala, Tindall, Balshaw; Donald, Lawson; Tialata, Smit, Afoa, Chisholm, A van Zyl, Joubert, Qera, Beattie.
Replacements: Tagicakibau for Sackey (44), Contepomi for Tindall (68), Fillol for Lawson (57), Jones for Tialata (60), August for Smit (60), Lakafia for Qera (60), Taele for Beattie (68).
Ref: John Lacey (Ireland).