Australia 55 - 7 Barbarians: Giteau shines for Australia in eight-try rout of Barbarians

AUSTRALIA posted a convincing victory over the Barbarians to claim the Nick Shehadie Cup in front of a capacity crowd on Saturday.

A three-try blitz gave the home side a commanding 20-0 lead midway through the opening half before Iain Balshaw opened the visitors' account just before half-time. But after a scrappy start to the second half the Wallabies piled on the points with five converted tries to put the result beyond doubt.

Man of the match Matt Giteau scored 16 points, highlighted by a brilliant solo effort in the first half, while Stirling Mortlock was heavily involved.

Australia drew first blood when they scored in the seventh minute, George Smith putting James Horwill over for a 5-0 lead. The hosts moved further ahead when Drew Mitchell danced through three defenders and planted the ball on the line for his side's second five-pointer. The onslaught continued when Giteau ghosted through a gaping hole from a scrum for the easy score. His conversion made it 20-0 in the 26th minute.

The Barbarians created the first legitimate chance of the second half but the Australia defence was up to the task and they were rewarded when hooker Stephen Moore completed a sweeping movement. Giteau made no mistake to make it 27-7 with 22 minutes to play.

The Wallabies showed no mercy in completing the rout.

Scorers: Australia: Tries: Horwill, Mitchell 2, Giteau, Moore, Alexander, Pocock, O'Connor. Cons: Giteau 4, Mortlock 2. Pen: Giteau.

Barbarians:Tries: Balshaw. Cons: McAlister.

Australia: Ashley-Cooper; Turner, Mortlock, Barnes, Mitchell; Giteau, Burgess; Robinson, Moore, Baxter, Horwill, Sharpe, Hodgson, Smith, Brown. Replacements: O'Connor for Ashley-Cooper (62), Cooper for Giteau (73), Valentine for Burgess (41), Polota-Nau for Moore (70), Alexander for Baxter (63), Mumm for Hodgson (41), Pocock for Brown (62).

Barbarians: Murphy; Balshaw, Bill Williams, Mapusua, Lewsey; McAlister, Whitaker; Dermody, Bruno, Botha, Jack Tito, Collins, Waugh, Lyons. Replacements: Blair for Murphy (51), Jackson for Mapusua (32), Marshall for Whitaker (45), Somerville for Dermody (51), Brits for Bruno (58), Corry for Jack (65), Betsen for Waugh (65).