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Thursday Feb 18, 2021

WATCH: Amazing skills on display as these exceptional assists are better than the finishes

Try scorers tend to get all the glory and recognition in rugby, but quite often it is the set-up to the score which is the most important. Here are some of the best try assists which ended up being better than the score itself.

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With modern defences becoming almost water tight, it is increasingly harder to breach the line in attack. With this mind, the assists required need to be more creative.

The selection highlighted in this video proves that attacks are now adapting to the sophisticated defensive structures, most notably in the Southern Hemisphere where offloading has been taken to a new level in recent years.

Bernard Foley’s floating mid-field pass to Adam Ashley-Cooper in the Rugby World Cup 2015 semi-final against Argentina was a prime example of passing into space rather than to a specific player, opening up the defence and leaving the winger catching up with the ball.

Kieran Reed’s beautiful “around the back” offload to Aaron Smith also shows how the offloading game is so important in drawing in as many defenders as possible.

Then there’s the organised chaos of someone like Racing 92’s Teddy Iribaren, who is able to lob a pin-point accurate reverse pass for Teddy Thomas to dot down in the corner.

That’s just three clips, and there’s far more where that came from throughout the almost 10-minute video. A part two will surely feature the likes of Finn Russell, George North and Danny Cipriani.

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