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Thursday Jul 22, 2021

No other player has mastered intercepts like Bryan Habana could

Often a misunderstood art, the interception try looks easy on the face of it, but it is in fact an incredibly difficult aspect of the game to master. One player shone more than any during his career: South Africa’s World Cup winner Bryan Habana.

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Even from his early days for the Springboks, Habana stood out as someone with a keen eye for an intercept. It’s easy to see why: his blinding pace and acceleration was almost unmatched in the game and his speed in defence made interceptions a natural counter-attacking ploy.

WATCH:¬†Top 10 Bryan Habana RWC tries show why he may just be the tournament’s best ever winger

But there’s more to an intercept than simply being quick off the defensive mark. You need to be able to read the attacking move, where the ball is going and make a clean catch knowing that if you fail, you risk conceding a score yourself.

There’s no denying it though, Habana was an absolute weapon on the intercept and regardless of which side you were supporting, seeing the winger at full tilt taking the intercept on the run – for example in the World Cup semi-final against Argentina in 2007 – was spellbinding to witness.

WATCH:¬†Bryan Habana’s massive hit on Lions winger Tommy Bowe in 2009

We’ve spent far more time than we should have watching and re-watching this compilation video from YouTuber Andrew Forde, so why not check it out for yourself if you haven’t already.

Was there any ever player better?

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