England smother Baabaas
ENGLAND went into the break smelling like roses here last night but, as was the case a week ago, the whiff of a Baabaas comeback was briefly in the air in the second half.
That prospect was, however, nipped in the bud as England splendidly reassembled themselves to run out 57-31 victors in a match that followed a remarkably similar path to their previous midweek engagement.
Broadly speaking, England were far more proficient in the set pieces, were onto the loose ball with greater alacrity and also cleverly shifted the point of contact from the lumbering Barbarian forwards.
Perhaps more telling was the slickness of their pass and the speed they ran onto it.
Flank Jaco Bouwer toiled for the Baabaas, hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld played with rich promise in the loose, while tighthead Ashley Buys delivered some earth-moving tackles but perhaps popped out of the scrum far too often to suggest he packed a similar punch there.
England's greater cohesion, however, served to wear down their opponents.
As was the case a week ago when the tourists vanquished the Baabaas' southern cousins, their superior conditioning told a story of its own.
Hooker Tom Youngs bustled the entire evening, No8 Ben Morgan delivered some powerful surges and George Robson's aerial skills impressed in the lineout.
At the back, flyhalf Charlie Hodgson delivered another polished performance, while the straight running of Jordan Turner-Hall carried bone-rattling consequences.
Christian Wade produced another lively performance. Though not content to be at fullback, Nick Abendanon made a point of joining in the action and, when he did, it usually resulted in five pointers.
Replacement wing Jonny May looked an attacker of immense potency. But just when things were looking brighter for Ugo Monye - the man he replaced - a seemingly innocuous tackle on Shaun Venter brought to an end his evening.
He was left motionless after his head struck Venter's hip and he was rendered unconscious before he hit the ground.