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CHRIS ASHTON

One journalist described the Barbarians smashing 63-45 victory at Twickenham over England as a “carnival contest.”  Nine ties were tallied, six by the Baa-Baas, and three by England. Within the first 32 minutes, the scoreboard racked up a startling 56 points.

England lacked some Premier League players from Exeter and Saracens playing in the final game of the season. But still how does their absence account for 38 missed tackles?

This represented England's worst defeat at Twickenham ever by conceding the most points. The non-capped match also numbered England’s fourth loss in a row, the team’s worst showing since 2014 when they also lost four straight (three to the All Blacks and one to South Africa).

All eyes were on 31-year old Chris Ashton, who had earned 39 England caps before being dropped by Coach Eddie Jones. The leading scorer this year for Toulon in the French Top 14 scored a brilliant hat trick for the Barbarians, demonstrating his memorable leap for a try to the delight of fans. Ashton’s three scores came within a 25-minute span.

It has been dark days for rugby in England with Six Nation losses to Ireland, France, and Scotland. The road to the Rugby World Cup in Japan begins for England with this summer’s three-match tour to South Africa.

To view run and gun rugby from both sides, access the highlights of the match at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5XE1RqbKks