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Daddy of all days as Barnes delivers man-of-match display

Catch me if you can ... Berrick Barnes puts in a top performance for the Wallabies.

Catch me if you can ... Berrick Barnes puts in a top performance for the Wallabies. Photo: Getty Images

FOR Berrick Barnes, it was probably the greatest day of his life. For Mike Harris, it was redemption.

Wallabies five-eighth Barnes has never had a more eventful 24 hours, having rushed back to Sydney on Friday night to attend the birth of his first child, son Archie, and then relying on a Melbourne cabbie to get him back in time to run out with his teammates. He then contributed 17 points with his boot to give the Wallabies the ascendancy, particularly during an extraordinary second half in which the lead changed hands eight times.

Eventually Barnes cramped up, allowing Harris to come on and kick the winning penalty after the final bell. No wonder Barnes and Harris were overwhelmed last night.

The Wallabies celebrate winning the Test. Click for more photos

Wallabies snatch victory over Wales

New Zealand-born Mike Harris kicked a penalty goal after the siren to seal a two-point win over Wales. Photo: Getty Images

''It's a kicker's dream to win a Test match,'' Harris said. ''I was unsuccessful the last time against Scotland. It was nice to be able to put it over. Luckily there was a roof on the stadium, and it wasn't hurricane conditions.''

Harris was referring to the diabolical weather at Newcastle during the Wallabies-Scotland Test, where Harris had a chance late in the game to break a 6-6 deadlock. He missed and Scotland went on to win 9-6.

Barnes was just coming to grips with his extraordinary 24 hours. A child, a man-of-the-match honour and a Test triumph. Fair trifecta.

''Our baby was due in five or six weeks, but I got a call yesterday saying that I had to get back to Sydney,'' he said. ''Thank god it all happened last night. Wife and bub are well, and little Archie is breathing on his own now and feeding, which is great. This is all so exciting, and I am so proud. I am just grateful to all the boys and the coaches for giving me the opportunity to get back for the Test.

''And to my old mate the cab driver, I'm not sure where he was from because he didn't speak much English, but he got me here on time to get to the team meeting. So I'm very thankful.''

Barnes admitted he was concerned he would not get back to the Test venue in time.

''It was up in the air for a while,'' he said. ''I originally thought when I went to Sydney we'd be having the baby today. And if that was the case, it would have been unlikely I would have got back in time. But just being able to check they were well gave me the peace of mind to come down and play. I love playing for my country, it is a great honour.

''This is something I will never forget. I tell you what though, it's emotionally draining. I haven't been through anything like that before. But adrenalin gets you up.''

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Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
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Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
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Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
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Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
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Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
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