It has been suggested in some corners of the media that Duhan van der Merwe’s try against England was the best since Jonah Lomu’s 1995 try for the All Blacks against England, and possibly better.
Whilst it was a special try, and to all Scotsmen watching a moment of ultimate ecstasy, one would have to differ. Take a look at van der Merwe’s:
In fairness he runs past 5 England players on his way to the tryline from his own half, but none of them actually tackle him. In fact the last one gives him a hug just before he scores. So lots of lovely swerves, but against a better defence?
Now listen to Mike Catt, who is still going through councelling 30 years on, talk you though Jonah’s famous try:
So although Jonah only beat three England defenders, the first tackle attempt by Underwood wasn’t a bad try, the second tap tackle by Carling almost had him for a few strides, but the third tackle by Catt was textbook perfect, low, at the knees, arms around both legs. It just didn’t work.
In fact it was a pivotal moment in rugby history that changed the defensive game forever. Systems evolved to bring down the big wingers – who arrived in spades after Lomu – by 2 on 1 tackling.
So whilst Van Der Merwe’s try was lovely to watch, Lomu’s was ground breaking.
Jonah Lomu 1975 – 2015 63 caps and 37 tries. May he rest in peace, and hopefully with a smile on his face.