Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Back in May of 2002, almost six years ago to the day, 62,000 fans at Twickenham played witness to one of the best individual tries ever seen on the ground, scored by a young Gloucester flyer by the name of James Simpson-Daniel.
Simpson-Daniel, only 19 at the time, contributed to England's highly impressive 53-29 victory over a Barbarians team that included the likes of Christian Cullen, Thomas Castaignede, and the legendary Jonah Lomu.
The superbly inventive solo try scored in the 35th minute by Simpson-Daniel had the world's most famous rugby player looking somewhat stunned after a man half his size and with no international experience had the audacity to take him on on the outside.
Percy Montgomery too was totally bemused with a delightful and deliberate juggle of the ball by Simpson-Daniel, before watching him step and skin Lomu down the wing and squeeze over in the corner, despite Cullen's covering challenge.
The Twickenham crowd, Clive Woodward, and every neutral rugby fan around the world stood as one to applaud a fantastic moment from a young man who showed so much promise at such a tender age.
This is an excellent 40-metre solo try that needed to be added to our archives, and one that will always be remembered for that cheeky dummy and the electric out-sprinting of Lomu.