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Dublin: 12°C Sunday 16 May 2021

From Savea to Gilroy: These are our favourite tries of 2015

That was quite a year for world rugby.

WITH THE WORLD CUP lighting up the world stage, as well as the various club tournaments around the globe continuing as always, 2015 was a year to be remembered in rugby history. With all those games come some great scores, and these are our picks for the best tries of this year.

1. Julian Savea (New Zealand vs France)

Possibly the best try of the World Cup, Savea has marked himself out as one of the most dangerous men in the game in recent years. Ben Smith does brilliantly to get under a kick from Carter, leaving Picamoles lying in his wake. In two passes the ball is in Savea’s hands and he shows his ridiculous strength by bouncing three defenders to dot down for the All Blacks’ fourth try of the match. Lomu-esque.

Source: Ben L/YouTube

2. Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders vs Brumbies), around 1:08 in the video

Just one of the big Fijian’s 22 tries for the Crusaders, and one that shows all the reasons he’s the Crusaders’ top try scorer for this year. Not only is Nadolo a considerable unit on the wing, he can get moving at a serious speed for his size, and rarely goes down on the first tackle attempt. When the defence does manage to get a hold on him, he’s usually able to offload to support runners.

Here, he gets away down the wing after breaking two tackles, then drops a deft little grubber down the line and shows his speed to get to it before Nic White and score.

The rest of the video is worth a watch, this guy’s a 20-stone highlight reel and he was a sight to behold at the World Cup.

Source: 7RugbyVids/YouTube

He’s not too bad under the crossfield kicks, either.


 3. Craig Gilroy (Ulster vs Scarlets)

Gilroy was in the original Irish training squad for the World Cup but missed out on the final cut due to the fierce competition for back 3 spots. Since then, he’s been one of Ulster’s standout performers, producing several solo efforts like this one. Collecting a poor clearance kick from Steve Shingler, he skips away from two tackles before stepping inside the full back and scores in the corner.

Some of the best feet in the Pro12 at the moment, and it seems certain that he’ll be adding to his tally of 6 Ireland caps.


4. Ayumu Goromaru (Japan vs South Africa), around 1:49 in the video

The best try from one of the best games of the World Cup. The ball comes down off the top of a lineout and into an excellent set play. Japanese 10 Kosei Ono recieves the ball behind the screen line of Male Sau and Jean De Villiers bites in. Ono sends Kotaro Matsushima through the gap left on De Villiers’ inside shoulder and the Springbok captain can only throw a flailing arm at the winger as he goes past.

Drawing Kirchner, he pops to man-of-the-match Gorumaru who runs in unchallenged for the score which would bring the sides level. The full-back’s performance throughout the World Cup has earned him international recognition, and he’s secured a contract to join the Queensland Reds in 2016.

Source: 19th April/YouTube

5. Nehe Milner-Skudder (New Zealand vs Australia), around 1:49 in the video

After the World Cup, there has been a lot of debate about the split between rugby played in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Questions have begun to be asked about how the skill levels in the South can be so much better, allowing the southern sides to play more expansively.

When watching Super Rugby, you can see where the critics of the northern game are coming from, with the speed and skill on show in every single game in the Super 15 in comparison to what’s seen in Europe’s top leagues.

Nehe Milner-Skudder is the embodiment of this difference. With his dazzling footwork, hands and all-round skill, he scored 8 tries at the World Cup after making his international debut in August. This try from that first game sees him take the ball from the 22 and carry to the corner, still managing to score despite being hit by Kuridrani, Folau and Giteau.

A significant try because his performance in this match laid down the marker for a big international showing this year. Not a massive solo try, but a good example of his exceptional pace, feet and nose for the line.

Source: Rugby Skills/YouTube

6. Bernard Foley (Australia vs England)

After moving ahead of Quade Cooper in the Australian out-half spot, Foley went on to have a brilliant World Cup, and this was one of his best moments. A clever play has Genia drifting away from a ruck as if to pass to  Moore on the left, then going behind to Foley who switches the play, bringing Kurtley Beale on his inside.

The main culprit in the English line is Joe Launchbury, who, along with Robshaw, takes Genia’s bait and follows the ball, completely abandoning his position as the pillar beside the ruck.

In a split-second,  Foley and Beale are barrelling down on Ben Youngs. A simple draw-and-give and Beale is through the line without a finger layed on him. Due to Youngs’ failure to hit anyone at all, Foley is there to get it back on Beale’s shoulder and dive over the line. Brilliant vision.


7. Joe Simpson (London Wasps vs Exeter Chiefs)

Wasps have been on a good run recently, and showed their class to ease past Leinster at the RDS, then put four tries past defending European champions Toulon to lead Pool 5 comfortably.

Joe Simpson has established himself as one of the stars of the show, and produced the box kick that would wrongfoot Dave Kearney and allow Christian Wade to score. Against the Chiefs, he produced this solo effort in which he beats two bigger men in the air, looks to go right, then stumbles before deciding to turn back. Finding a gap, he easily gets inside the Chiefs’ second row and shows great pace to make it all the way to the line.


(Honourable mention to Christian Wade for his kick and chase against Saracens in March, at 1:11 in the video)

Source: Observatoire Béarnais/YouTube

8. Julian Savea (New Zealand vs France), 2:23 in the video

Savea’s other try in this match has already been included, but this one can’t be left out. Carter, dangerous and at ease as always, recieves the ball and darts at the French line, not only fending off French second row Pascal Papé, but shoving him to the ground, then spins a no-look offload out the back door just before Noa Nakaitaci reaches him for Savea to walk over.

Not generally considered as good as Savea’s other try in this match but an amazing piece of individual skill. Pure class from the deserved World Player of the Year.


9. Melani Nanai (Blues vs Rebels)

One of numerous Super 15 tries that could have easily made the list. A really well-executed move sees Blues 9 Jimmy Cowan pass to his hooker Keven Mealamu at first receiver, then start to run a wraparound line as he turns to face backwards.

Tony Woodcock keeps the defence interested on Mealamu’s left, before he picks the best option and hits current Munster man Francis Saili, who takes a great line and goes clean through. He draws the last line of defence and fires a long pass out to Melani Nanai, alone on the wing. A great play to watch, extra points for that dive at the end.


10. DTH van der Merwe (Canada vs Italy)

The closest thing to a coast-to-try on the list, this is just a great effort from the South African-born winger. Number 8 Tyler Ardron catches the Italian kickoff, then gets the ball away to van der Merwe on the wing. He fights off the tackle attempt of his opposite number Venditti and speeds past Italian number 9 Gori.

Turning inside, he draws Luke McClean and Vunisa, then passes to 13 Ciaran Hearn,who steps outside of fly-half Allan and manages to offload back to his winger, who glides past two defenders with a nice change of direction and finds open road to the posts. One of the best scores of the World Cup.

Source: Fantasy Rugger/YouTube


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