Australia gave the Lions another reminder of just how a tough a test they will face in 2013 as they thrashed the Barbarians on Saturday afternoon.
The Lions’ next opponents were 60-11 winners at Twickenham in an unexpectedly one-sided contest.
The Wallabies totally outclassed a Babaas side that included five members of New Zealand’s World Cup winning squad to ensure they bounced back from their own disappointments at the recent global gathering in some style.
Robbie Deans saw his men score eight tries at English Rugby’s HQ, with Digby Ioane, Lachie Turner and James Horwill all grabbing a brace and Rob Horne and Radike Samo also crossing the Babaas’ line.
The star-studded invitational team had beaten both the All Blacks and the Springboks over the past two seasons but they never troubled the Wallabies and their only try came through rugby league sensation Sam Tomkins right at the death.
Australia now head to Cardiff to face Wales at the Millennium Stadium this coming Saturday in a rematch of the Bronze Medal encounter at the World Cup.
But while that clash with the Welsh is likely to feature a number of potential Lions versus Wallabies match ups, the first game of the two-match tour signalled the end of the road for two giants of the game who have experienced the highs and lows on previous Lions tours.
South African legend Victor Matfield, who tasted glory against the 2009 Lions, has now called time on his stellar career, while Simon Shaw, a Lion on three of the last four tours, is likely to have played his final match at Twickenham as he begins life in France with Toulon.
Australia: Ashley-Cooper, Turner, Horne, Barnes, Ioane, O'Connor, Genia, Slipper, Polota-Nau, Ma'afu, Simmons, Sharpe, Higginbotham, Pocock, Dennis
Replacements: Tapuai for Barnes (37), Phipps for Genia (53), Moore for Polota-Nau (50), Alexander for Ma'afu (50), Horwill for Sharpe (50), Hodgson for Pocock (51), Samo for Dennis (50)
Yellow cards: Ashley-Cooper (14), Slipper (29)
Barbarians :Toeava, Tomkins, Fruean, Mortlock, Habana, Cipriani, Stringer, Guinazu, Mealamu, Marconnet, Shaw, Matfield, Kaino, Bergamasco, Thomson
Replacements: Rabeni for Habana (41), Kenatale for Stringer (41), Perugini for Guinazu (41), Strauss for Mealamu (41), Bortolami for Shaw (41), White for Kaino (41). Not Used: Kahui