A late penalty has condemned the New Zealand-bound Ireland rugby team to an agonising 29-28 loss to the Barbarians, days after the Barbarians were comfortably dispatched 57-26 by England.

The Irish were resting their Leinster players - following their defeat to Ospreys in Sunday's RaboDirect PRO12 final - but expected a better performance in their Gloucester clash against the Barbarians on Tuesday night.

"We are disappointed," Irish coach Declan Kidney said.

"The Barbarians were a lot better than they were on Sunday against England.

"They were well focused, it was a tough game and but we only went down to a penalty three minutes from the end.

"We didn't have a full deck of cards but it was a brilliant opportunity for some of our fringe players."

Kidney is due to name his squad for the New Zealand tour on Wednesday and reported no major injury worries.

Asked about his side's chances in New Zealand, Ireland's captain on the night, Ronan O'Gara, said: "It's a huge challenge; it is the survival of the fittest.

"Test rugby takes you out of your comfort zone and people don't understand that it's a whole new level and it's going to be extremely tough."

Mike Tindall, the out-of-contract Gloucester centre, had an impressive game for the Barbarians, scoring one try and having a hand in two of the others.

Barbarians coach John Kirwan said: "Mike has been fantastic. He was very good on Sunday and at 33 he wanted to back it up tonight by playing on his home ground."

The Barbarians now face Wales on Saturday and Kirwan added: "The game is all about Shane Williams.

"It will be his last ever match playing against Wales at the Millennium Stadium."

NZ Newswire

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