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Monday Jul 6, 2015

Five classic underdog tries at the Rugby World Cup

Five classic underdog tries at the Rugby World Cup
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Throughout the history of the Rugby World Cup, we have seen plenty examples of top tier nations being dutifully undone by their supposed minnow opponents. As ardent supporters of underdogs, we thought it apt to relive some of the best ‘giant slaying’ tries of tournaments past, with this great top five put together by World Rugby.

Despite failing to secure a victory in 2007, Japan lit up the tournament with their incredible and at times, ridiculous counter attacking. They scored perhaps the try of the tournament, when Kosuke Endo finished a superb coast-to-coast effort in the 72-18 defeat to Wales in Cardiff.

Try number two harks back to 2003 and the introduction of Rupeni Caucaunibuca. The then 23 year-old Fijian monster steamrolled through countless Scottish defenders to score the first of two stunning tries. Fiji would agonisingly lose the match, and a potential place in the quarter finals, thanks to a late David Hilton try for the Scots.

Sukanaivalu Hufanga’s fantastic try for Tonga caused one of the upsets of the tournament four years ago when they beat France 19-14 in Wellington, while Richard Tsimba scored an excellent solo try in Zimbabwe’s narrow 21-20 defeat to Romania in 1987.

Competing for try of the tournament with Endo’s Japanese effort at Rugby World Cup 2007 was a similar length of the field score, this time for the USA.

Todd Clever’s well timed interception and ferocious hand-off on Springbok flyhalf Butch James, combined with Takudzwa Ngwenya’s searing pace to round Bryan Habana, proved one of the moments of Rugby World Cup history, and epitomised the spirit of perserverence.

11 Comments

  • stroudos
    9:41 AM 08/07/2015

    That Caucau try v France was way better than the one featured on this clip. a) It's against France, not Scotland. (Hastily mumbled apology to any sweaties offended by that). b) Started from just outside his own 22. c) In all that distance and with at least 3 players to beat, not a single Frenchman even touched him.

    Reply
  • andinov
    4:31 AM 08/07/2015

    Clever's hand off has been paid tribute above but Ngwenya rounding of Habana is equally ridiculous. You can see that Habana has left the outside open because ... well he's the best and quickest winger in the world and nobody can beat him on the outside for pace. Then Ngwenya straights his run before stepping off so quick that Habana doesn't even get a finger to him. Beauty

    Reply
  • colombes
    9:57 PM 07/07/2015

    Ze dance of Zee N'Gwenya in front of Habana was something else. I also remember others moments such like the Samoa vs Wales in 1991 or another Caucau zigzag vs France in 2003

    Reply
  • flanker2712
    6:19 PM 07/07/2015

    Glaring omission.

    Reply
  • misterdavid
    3:33 PM 07/07/2015

    In a compilation of 'Best Handoffs Ever!', that would be one of my favourites.

    Reply
  • tvrdoglavi
    9:54 AM 07/07/2015

    What about Georgia vs Ireland? Or Samoa vs Wales (1991)?

    Reply
  • 12:39 AM 07/07/2015

    Japanese try my favorite but what about al Charon vs nz in the 91 1/4 final

    Reply
  • 11:03 PM 06/07/2015

    At that time in 2003 they probably were. Scotland had reached the quarter finals of every RWC previously whereas Fiji had only managed it once - in 1987. In recent years however, they would not necessarily be considered underdogs. Certainly not since their 2007 exploits.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    11:00 PM 06/07/2015

    Momentarily shared that thought! But in 2003, Scotland were not as shit as you might think and Fiji exceeded expectations. Caucau especially, for those of us outside NZ, was a massive revelation!

    Reply
  • stroudos
    10:45 PM 06/07/2015

    Todd Clever's handoff on Butch James is an absolute beauty. Love the way he sought him out, I mean the bloke was nowhere near initiating a tackle but still got smashed.

    Reply
  • tphillipsstl
    9:42 PM 06/07/2015

    you really think Fiji is that much of an underdog against Scotland?

    Reply


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