The touring Queensland Outback Barbarians had won their first two games of their Western USA tour by 127-0 and 83-0, so you can imagine they expected more of the same going into New Orleans.
However, the team was met by a New Orleans club lately stung by a home playoff loss, and made QOB pay to the tune of 13-7.
Bobby Johns scored the lone try for New Orleans and Jarrett Falcon kicked a conversion and two penalties for the victory.
Right wing Josh Papale of the Barbarians opened the scoring, running in under the posts in the 20th minute after receiving an inside ball from flyhalf and playmaker Phil Dersen. Derksen then added the extras to put the Barbarians ahead 7-0.
New Orleans matched the Barbarians at every turn and defended well. A similar backline move put Johns through for the equalizing try.
The score remained 7-7 at halftime.
The Barbarians got into all sorts of penalty trouble after that, and Falcon kicked enough to keep his team ahead 13-7.
As the clock ticked on the action grew increasingly intense. New Orleans made a spirited goal line stand and repelled a concerted Barbarians attack. The Barbarians proved just as tenacious in defense. A yellow card knocked them down a man, but just when they seemed poised to put the game completely out of reach, New Orleans started getting penalties.
"It is sometimes hard for touring teams to keep up the intensity when you have some generally easy games and everything around them is new," team manager Geoff Barton told the Queesnland Country Times. "The New Orleans game should really switch them on for the second half of the tour and particular for the May 10 match with Missoula in Montana. "I am sure we will see a whole new level of determination come out of these guys."
"It was a good match," said New Orleans Head Coach Jerry Malina. "I thought the guys competed well."
Next up for the Barbarians is a trip to the famed Missoula Maggotfest.