England trounced by 14-man Barbarians on day of humiliation at Twickenham

George Kruis back-heeled a conversion to set the seal on a day of humiliation for Eddie Jones’ England.

The outrageous moment capped an eight-try beating by a scratch side operating at the end of what Kruis admitted had been a “pretty social” week.

Worse still, Jones suffered the heaviest defeat of his tenure against a team which played more than half the game with 14 men following Will Skelton’s red card.

“England didn’t lose the game today, they were outclassed in every facet,” said former captain Dylan Hartley.

“And you’ve got to think the BaaBaas played with 14 men for the majority of it. England were playing like they were down a man.”

Coached by Grand Slam-winning France duo Fabien Galthie and Shaun Edwards, the Barbarians honoured their pre-match pledge to play in memory of Phil Bennett.

They lined up in a ’10’ formation in tribute to the Welsh wizard and 1973 BaaBaa legend, who died last week, then proceeded to run rings around England.

Damien Penaud scores one of his two tries in spectacular fashion
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CameraSport via Getty Images)

So superior were they that Kruis, playing his final game of rugby against his old team, kicked three conversions.

Jones insisted he had no problem with the burly lock’s back-heeled two-pointer, saying: “It’s a festival game and it’s supposed to be fun for the crowd.

“Now we don’t like to get beaten by 50, don’t get me wrong, but they were here to have fun.”

Marcus Smith, one of very few England players to catch the eye, goes over for his try. Below, Red Rose boss Eddie Jones
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PA)

Bryan Habana, working the game as a pundit with Hartley, said: “I had to ask Dylan in the second half, who’s the defensive England coach?”

Red Rose great Peter Winterbottom tweeted: “Sadly yet again we were clueless.”

Three months after England finished nowhere in the Six Nations for a second straight year, Jones was left to explain another setback.

Jack Nowell tackled by the Barbarians’ Dylan Cretin with George Kruis in close attendance
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The RFU Collection via Getty Ima)

“We approached the game in a particular strategic way,” he said. “We wanted to try and play a bit differently, extend ourselves, give the young guys an opportunity to show their ability, particularly with the ball.

“I’m pleased with the intent of what we tried to do. Obviously not happy with the result, not pleased with how we performed.

“We were beaten pretty badly at the breakdown. It was a good reminder how much work we have to do before Australia.”

Barbarians players celebrate a famous victory
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Getty Images for Barbarians)

England fly Down Under this week without George Ford, who damaged ankle ligaments in Saturday’s Premiership Final.

Almost certainly, too, minus No.8 Alex Dombrandt, forced out of this game by a knee injury suffered in training. He sees a specialist today.

Jones’ message to England fans was that “we are not going to go to Australia and get beaten by 50 and run the ball from our own 22.

“But,” he added, “we have got a style of play we want to keep developing.”

ENGLAND – Tries: Cokanasiga, May, Smith. Pens: Smith 3.

BARBARIANS – Tries: Penalty, Ollivon, Penaud 2, Couilloud, Carbonel, Spring, Hastoy. Cons: Hastoy 2, Kruis 3.

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