IRELAND 39 BARBARIANS 14, Kingsholm, Gloucester (Att: 10,800)
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Tommy Bowe, Shane Horgan 2, Jamie Heaslip 2; Cons: Paddy Wallace 4; Pens: Paddy Wallace 2
Barbarians: Tries: Craig Newby, Pedrie Wannenburg; Cons: Peter Hewat 2
Not the perfect send-off but an encouraging one nonetheless. A return to winning ways - albeit in a non-cap game - was exactly what was required ahead of the upcoming summer tour to New Zealand and Australia.
The positives will far outweigh the negatives as Michael Bradley and Niall O'Donovan review the video of Ireland's first ever triumph over the Baa Baas, after defeats in 1996 and 2000.
Certainly the Barbarians were lacking in match sharpness, they look disorganised at times and poor handling hindered them throughout the 80 minutes, but you can only beat what is in front of you and Ireland did so in business-like fashion.
To do so without shipping any serious injuries is another fillip for the Irish management - especially when you considering that back in 2000 when the Baa Baas claimed a 31-30 win at Lansdowne Road, Ireland lost Brian O'Driscoll, Girvan Dempsey, Geordan Murphy and Jeremy Davidson to injury.
Due to a bereavement, O'Driscoll was a late withdrawal for this Kingsholm clash and his place in Ireland's midfield went to Gavin Duffy. Shane Horgan stood in as team captain.
That back-line readjustment failed to unsettle the Irish and they went in front after just five minutes.
Shane Jennings did well to keep the ball in play on the left wing, Paddy Wallace spun a lovely pass out for Tommy Bowe to ghost onto - Duffy made the decoy run - and with the Barbarians' midfield split open, Bowe was able to step his way past Sosene Anesi and get over for the try.
Wallace converted and added a quick penalty goal to edge Ireland 10-0 ahead as a Barbarians side that included recent Leinster favourite Ollie Le Roux struggled to get to grips with the game.
Too many times the Baa Baas' ball carrier was isolated and lacking in support.
On the plus side, their half-backs Stephen Larkham and Michael Claassens looked lively, their scrum was solid and Gloucester's own Lesley Vainikolo did look dangerous in possession, but Ireland were soon adding to their lead.
Mike Ross' first involvement with the senior team was ended prematurely by injury in the 18th-minute, with Tom Court, another uncapped player, replacing him.
Stephen Ferris, who put in a vey industrious display, blocked a clearance kick from Larkham and after Jamie Heaslip had mopped up the loose ball, the lively Luke Fitzgerald set off on a jinking run.
The 20-year-old, who looked right at home as an international centre, was involved again a couple of phases later for Horgan's first try.
A quickly taken lineout caught the Baa Baas napping and when the ball was switched out to the left, Jennings straightened the line brilliantly, Fitzgerald tied up a defender and offloaded snappily for Horgan to power past Morgan Turinui and Craig Newby and crash over the line.
Wallace added the left-sided conversion for 17-0 and things got even better for Ireland in the 25th-minute when Horgan touched down again after a breathless breakaway.
The Baa Baas briefly threatened through Vainikolo but a vital tackle from Heaslip brought the big England winger to ground and Ireland quickly regrouped, helped by a solid night's work from the recalled Bob Casey.
While David Young's men remained on the attack, Rob Kearney swooped for an intercept when Claassens passed to his right off a ruck and Bowe was soon charging over the halfway line.
Anesi got back to haul down the Monaghan man, however Ireland kept their heads when the scoring chance almost looked lost and good hands from Kearney again, Rory Best and Wallace helped send Horgan thundering over under the posts.
24-0 in arrears, the Barbarians breathed some life into their game by gaining a good chunk of possession coming up to the half-hour mark.
The crowd roared its approval as Le Roux took the ball on and made a burst forward and his South African colleague Jaco Pretorius, a very balanced runner with ball in hand, began to make in-roads from his centre position.
Despite this, Ireland could have collected a couple more tries before half-time. A great dump tackle by Fitzgerald on Larkham was one of the Irish highlights as the half came to a close.
The men in green missed out on a 39th-minute try when a Horgan kick forward just rolled over the end line before the onrushing Kearney could reach it.
TIME LINE: 5 minutes - Ireland try: Tommy Bowe - 5-0; conversion: Paddy Wallace - 7-0; 10 mins - Ireland penalty: Paddy Wallace - 10-0; 21 mins - Ireland try: Shane Horgan - 15-0; conversion: Paddy Wallace - 17-0; 25 mins - Ireland try: Shane Horgan - 22-0; conversion: Paddy Wallace - 24-0; 40+2 mins - Barbarians try: Craig Newby - 24-5; conversion: Peter Newby - 24-7; Half-time - Ireland 24 Barbarians 7; 46 mins - Ireland sin-binning: Isaac Boss (deliberate offside); 54 mins - Ireland penalty: Paddy Wallace - 27-7; 58 mins - Ireland try: Jamie Heaslip - 32-7; conversion: Paddy Wallace - 34-7; 69 mins - Barbarians try: Pedrie Wannenburg - 34-12; conversion: Peter Hewat - 34-14; 80+1 mins - Ireland try: Jamie Heaslip - 39-14; conversion: missed by Paddy Wallace - 39-14; Full-time - Ireland 39 Barbarians 14
IRELAND: Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster); Shane Horgan (Boyne/Leinster) (capt), Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster), Gavin Duffy (Galwegians/Connacht), Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster); Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster), Isaac Boss (Ballymena/Ulster); Bryan Young (Ballymena/Ulster), Rory Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Mike Ross (Harlequins), Bob Casey (London Irish), Malcolm O'Kelly (St. Mary's College/Leinster), Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster), Shane Jennings (St. Mary's College/Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Clontarf/Leinster).
Replacements used: Tom Court (Ballymena/Ulster) for Ross (18 mins), Ryan Caldwell (Dungannon/Ulster) for O'Kelly, Neil Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) for Ferris (both 60), Girvan Dempsey (Terenure College/Leinster) for Fitzgerald (63), Bernard Jackman (Clontarf/Leinster) for R Best (67), Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary's College/Leinster) for Horgan (79), Frank Murphy (Leicester) for Boss (80).
BARBARIANS: Peter Hewat (London Irish); Sosene Anesi (Chiefs & New Zealand), Morgan Turinui (Reds & Australia) (capt), Jaco Pretorius (Stormers & South Africa), Lesley Vainikolo (Gloucester & England); Stephen Larkham (Australia), Michael Claassens (Bath & South Africa); Ollie Le Roux (Leinster & South Africa), Sebastien Bruno (Sale Sharks & France), Cobus Visagie (Saracens & South Africa), Kris Chesney (Saracens), Ross Skeate (Stormers), Craig Newby (Highlanders & New Zealand), David Croft (Reds & Australia), Pedrie Wannenburg (Blue Bulls & South Africa).
Replacements used: Mitchell Chapman (Brumbies) for Newby (half-time), Glen Jackson (Saracens) for Larkham (45 mins), Mark Regan (Bristol & England) for Bruno, Patrice Collazo (Gloucester & France) for Le Roux (both 55), Santiago Dellape (Biarritz & Italy) for Chesney (56), Le Roux for Visagie (67), Andy Gomarsall (Harlequins & England) for Claassens (68), Tyrone Smith (Brumbies) for Hewat (79).
Referee: Andrew Small (England)