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Ireland defeat to Barbarians made worse by injuries
May 29, 2000

The Barbarians shaded victory against Ireland by 31-30 with some champagne rugby in a bruising encounter to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Irish Rugby Football Union at Lansdowne Road here on Sunday.

They scored five brilliant tries to Ireland's four, two of them in the last
quarter by South Africa full-back Stefan Terblanche.

But injuries in the game could cost Ireland dear for their forthcoming tour
of the USA, Canada and Argentina for which they leave Monday.

Centre Brian O'Driscoll is definitely out with a hamstring injury - and
full-back Girvan Dempsey (jaw), winger Jordan Murphy (ankle ligaments) and
second row Jeremy Davidson (arm) are all rated doubtful by coach Warren Gatland.

O'Driscoll, Dempsey and Davidson were all taken off on stretchers in a
pulsating first half.

Guy Easterby and Justin Bishop answered tries from James Dalton and Kenny
Logan to put Ireland 12-10 ahead before a David Humphries penalty and a Shane
Horgan try gave the home side a 20-10 half-time lead.

But the injuries soon took their toll on Ireland, who ended up playing
number eight Eric Miller at full-back.

Ireland maintained that 10-point lead until the 65th minute when Terblanche
broke through the cover for the first of two late tries.

Humphries had a chance to give Ireland victory with an injury-time penalty
but missed the target.

Gatland admitted the casualty list is bad news for his team.He said: "It's the worst possible preparation for a tour with all these injuries. But the team showed great character despite all the substitutions - and we even had a chance to win the game in the end.

"Dempsey says he may have been taken out by Pieter Muller, and we will have
to take a look at the tape. If that is the case it is obviously very disappointing."

The Barbarians next match is against Scotland at Murrayfield on Wednesday.

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