Cordero helps Argentina ease past Barbarians


Santiago Cordero scored two tries as Argentina turned on the style to beat the Barbarians 49-31 at Twickenham on Saturday. 

One of the stars of the Pumas' surge to the Rugby World Cup semi-finals, Cordero went over twice before half-time to help his side open up a 28-12 lead.

A Baa Baas side studded with star names and coached by Michael Cheika - the man who led Australia to the World Cup final - fell further behind after the interval in a predictably open and entertaining encounter.

However, a late Baa Baas rally narrowed the Pumas' margin of victory and there was a light-hearted conclusion to proceedings as Bakkies Botha, in the final appearance of his career, tried and failed to convert a last-gasp try from long-time second-row partner Victor Matfield.

Argentina's players warmed up for the match wearing black shirts with the number 11 on the back, a tribute to former New Zealand wing Jonah Lomu, who died at the age of 40 earlier this week.

A minute's silence was also observed before kick-off, in honour of Lomu and those killed in the Paris terror attacks.

Tevita Kuridrani put the Baa Baas into an early lead, but Argentina soon seized control, with Facundo Isa and Ramiro Moyano rounding off impressive moves either side of Cordero's first try.

Another Cordero score extended the Pumas' lead and counter-attacking scores to Martin Landajo and Jeronimo de la Fuente followed in the second half.

The Baa Baas finished on a high, however, and claimed three of the game's last four tries through Joe Tomane, Nemani Nadolo and Matfield - with Nicolas Sanchez adding Argentina's seventh.

Botha's conversion attempt prompted much amusement, the lock coming up short with his late kick for two.