Keira Bevan made one try and scored another as Wales Women came storming back against the Barbarians but eventually fell to a 29-15 defeat in the first fixture of Saturday’s historic double header at Principality Stadium.
Chris Horsman’s side played their full part in an exciting clash in the Welsh capital that saw eight tries scored in total.
Wales were made to pay in the end for a poor first half, the Baa Baas – coached by former Wales skipper Rachel Taylor – came roaring out of the blocks and scored five unanswered tries inspired by Ireland centre Jenny Murphy.
That meant the invitational side went in at the break 29-0 to the good with Wales staring a second defeat of the autumn in the face after defeat to Spain at the start of the month.
But they came storming back, showing the form that has seen them beat Scotland and Crawshay’s in the past fortnight with three scores of their own, No.9 Bevan to the fore.
Former Wales skipper Taylor clearly had her side fired up, as they made a storming start in this historic fixture.
Their first try was scored by New Zealand No.8 Charmaine McMenamin, powering over from close range.
Ruahei Demant converted, but the second score followed immediately after and it was a stunner.
Vintage BaaBaas offloading released former Wales international Dyddgu Howell down the left from the kick off, the winger still had plenty to do from her own half but managed it after dummying inside then out and just about keeping her momentum to the line.
The third try went to Lauren Harris of Scotland, the Barbarians held up initially before Demant’s long pass put the winger over in the right corner.
Then it was the turn of Murphy, sliding over down the right after more powerful Baa Baas carries up the middle.
Wales were shellshocked and the visitors added a fifth before the interval, Anna Caplice the beneficiary again in the right corner.
Wales’ best chance in the first half had gone to Lisa Neumann, but she was forced into touch after good work by Kerin Lake to release her.
However, the winger made amends in the second half after Wales came out much improved on the resumption.
Neumann got over in the left corner, after careful checking by the TMO, after Bevan went blind from a five-metre scrum.
Valiant Welsh defence then denied the BaaBaas a sixth around the hour mark before Bevan struck.
It was a beautiful lineout move that released the No.9 through the middle and she powered into the right corner for the score.
And in the final quarter, the Welsh revival continued as replacement Alex Callender picked off a pass on halfway and went all the way for their third.
29-15 it finished, a fair reflection of the dominance of each half and a brilliant first fixture for the double header.