Breaking out . . . Eastern Northern Combined Barbarians number eight Albert Qoro breaks out of a Midland’s player tackle during a Rugby Southland Go Bus Southland Wide premier game against Midlands on Saturday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Eastern Northern Combined Barbarians coach Nathan Howden is pleased with the improvement in his team’s performance on Saturday.

The side beat Midlands 28 to 7 at the Gore A&P Showgrounds.

The week before, the team had been beaten 15-36 by Pirates Old Boys.

Howden said the team made good progress after its defeat to Old Boys.

“It was a step forward in the right direction, I thought, but there’s still quite a bit to work on yet,” Howden said.

The team’s defence was greatly improved from the week before.

While the team were not as “clinical” as he would have liked, the Midlands players were very physical.

“The boys knew they had played a game.

“It was a good test.”

Barbarians were ahead 14-0 at half time after tries to halfback Levi Wairau and No 8 Albert Qoro.

After returning to the field, the team was fast on attack and winger Vitali Roqica scored again to go ahead another seven points.

“He ran a good line off the centre and scored under the posts untouched.

“It was a good backs move.”

In the last five minutes of the game, Midlands intercepted a pass and went on attack to score moments later in the corner to make the score 21-7.

However, the Barbarians quickly replied with prop Kane Prentice burrowing over the line from a ruck to score another try that was converted as the final whistle blew.