The Rugby World Cup, a crucible of sporting excellence, has witnessed some of the most spectacular and unforgettable tries in rugby history. These moments are not just about scoring; they encapsulate strategy, skill, and the indomitable spirit of rugby. In this article, we delve into the top 10 best Rugby World Cup tries ever, highlighting the moments that exemplify the best of rugby, from the most shocking tackles to the genius of the greatest fly-halves.
10. Serge Blanco’s Last-Minute Elegance – 1987
Serge Blanco’s try for France against Australia in 1987 was a masterpiece of timing and agility. In the dying moments of the match, Blanco received the ball outside the 22-meter line. Displaying a remarkable blend of speed and grace, he sliced through the Australian defense, evading tackles with a dancer’s poise before diving over the try line. This try is remembered not just for its dramatic timing but for Blanco’s ability to maintain composure under immense pressure, a trait seen in the best rugby captains.
9. John Kirwan’s Breathtaking Solo Run – 1987
New Zealand’s John Kirwan’s try against Italy in the inaugural 1987 World Cup was a display of raw power and agility. Receiving the ball inside his own 22-meter line, Kirwan embarked on a solo run that saw him outpace and outmaneuver the entire Italian defense. His try was a blend of speed, strength, and sheer determination, setting a high standard for future wingers and leaving fans in awe.
8. Takudzwa Ngwenya’s Speed Demonstration – 2007
In a David versus Goliath scenario, Takudzwa Ngwenya of the USA stunned everyone by outrunning South Africa’s Bryan Habana, one of the fastest players in rugby, in 2007. Ngwenya’s try was a testament to his incredible speed and agility. Starting from his own half, he received the ball on the wing and accelerated past Habana, showcasing a burst of speed that left spectators and players alike astonished.
7. Jeff Wilson’s Athletic Prowess – 1995
Jeff Wilson’s try for New Zealand against Scotland in 1995 was a showcase of athletic brilliance. Known for his multi-sport talents, Wilson received a cross-field kick and leaped above the Scottish defenders, catching the ball mid-air and landing in the try zone. This try highlighted Wilson’s exceptional hand-eye coordination and his ability to read the game, qualities that made him one of the best in the sport.
6. Chris Latham’s Display of Individual Brilliance – 2003
Chris Latham’s try for Australia against Namibia in 2003 was a testament to his individual skill. Gathering the ball inside his own half, Latham embarked on a mesmerizing run, sidestepping and powering through multiple tackles. His ability to find gaps in the defense and his explosive acceleration made this try a highlight of the tournament and a classic example of a fullback’s counter-attacking prowess.
5. Bryan Habana’s Record-Equalling Sprint – 2007
Bryan Habana’s try against Argentina in the 2007 World Cup was a moment of historical significance. Tying Jonah Lomu’s record for the most tries in a single World Cup, Habana showcased his trademark speed. Intercepting a pass, he dashed 60 meters, outpacing the defense with ease. This try was not just about physical speed; it was about anticipation and the ability to seize the moment, traits that later defined his coaching philosophy.
4. Gareth Thomas’ Exemplary Team Effort – 2007
Gareth Thomas’ try for Wales against Canada in 2007 was a product of exceptional teamwork and coordination. The play involved multiple phases, with the ball passing through several hands before reaching Thomas, who demonstrated his finishing skills. This try was a testament to the Welsh team’s strategic planning and the importance of collective effort in rugby, a hallmark of the Best Rugby National Teams in the World.
3. Stephen Larkham’s Legendary Drop Goal – 1999
Stephen Larkham’s drop goal for Australia in the 1999 semi-final against South Africa was a moment of genius. In a tightly contested match, Larkham, who was not known for his drop goals, took a chance from 48 meters out. The ball sailed through the posts, securing Australia’s place in the final. This moment was a blend of audacity and skill, showcasing Larkham’s strategic thinking and technical prowess.
2. Jason Robinson’s Lightning Strike – 2003
Jason Robinson’s try in the 2003 final for England against Australia was a moment of individual brilliance. Known for his electrifying pace, Robinson received the ball on the wing and darted through a gap in the Australian defense. His try was a critical moment in the final and highlighted his ability to change the course of a game with a single explosive action.
1. Jonah Lomu’s Dominant Display – 1995
Jonah Lomu’s iconic try against England in the 1995 World Cup is etched in rugby history. Lomu, a blend of size, speed, and power, received the ball on the left wing and proceeded to bulldoze through multiple English defenders, showcasing an unprecedented level of physical dominance on the rugby field. This try not only highlighted Lomu’s individual talent but also marked a shift in how wingers were perceived in rugby.
The Rugby World Cup has been a stage for some of the most spectacular and memorable tries in the history of the sport. These top 10 best Rugby World Cup tries ever are a testament to the skill, strategy, and passion that define rugby. From the most shocking rugby tackles to the visionary plays of the best fly-halves, each try tells a story of triumph and the relentless pursuit of excellence. As we look forward to future tournaments, these moments will continue to inspire and captivate fans and players around the world.