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Friday Feb 10, 2012

John Leslie scores the fastest ever international try in 1999

ORIGINAL – https://www.rugbydump.com/news/john-leslie-scores-the-fastest-ever-international-try-in-1999/

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Wales face Scotland on Sunday so today we look back on a previous meeting between the two, going all the way back to 1999 and the last ever Five Nations tournament. On that day Scotland got off to a start that they could only have dreamed of.

Scotland’s Kiwi player John Leslie scored within 10 seconds of kick-off at Murrayfield, the fastest ever try scored from kickoff. Leslie and his brother Martin both qualified to play for them thanks to a Scottish grandfather, and made their debuts just a year before he scored this historic try.

“You can’t get a better start than that,” said Jim Telfer, head coach at the time.

“It’s so important in international rugby, especially if things haven’t been going so well, to get ahead of the game. Wales were dangerous early on but very predictable towards the end,” he added, after Scotland won the game 33-20 following a resilient comeback from the Welsh.

Leslie gave them the ideal start as he competed well for the ball from the kickoff and actually ended up snatching it right from the grasp of another New Zealander, Shane Howarth.

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“It was just one of those things where the ball fell into my lap,” Leslie said.

Scotland won the Championship that year, thanks in part to a memorable late try against England, scored by now legendary Wales and British & Irish Lions center, Scott Gibbs.

According to some, Leslie’s feat is matched only by England’s Bart Price, who scored against Wales in 1923. It’s difficult to know how accurate the timing was back then, so it’s safe to say that Leslie’s record is safe, and most likely won’t be beaten anytime soon.

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