The talk of the past week — apart from Game of Thrones, Donald Sterling, Tohu For 5/8 and Paul Kent — has been THAT try scored by Greg Inglis:
I hate Souffs. As a Roosters fan, I have no choice. But watching the try again on NRL360, with all those different commentaries at every discernible angle, gave me goosebumps.
Yes, the door was open and a breeze rolled in when they showed it. But goosebumps were present. We can argue about coincidence and causation all we want, but all I know is the last time they showed that try, my skin was bumpier than Seal’s cheeks.
And I can’t confirm if I reacted in a similar vein to Seal climaxing at the high note:
But have I seen better individual tries? Where does Greg Inglis’ effort truly rank? And are older tries the victim of recency here?
There have been plenty of doozies in my time on this Earth, more than could possibly fit into a readable, jizz-free structure. But let’s revisit the ones I can remember here.
(Note: These are tries based off one’s individual brilliance, not team efforts nor ones coming from kicks. So if you are wondering why Mark Coyne’s Origin try and Jenko’s GF special from last year aren’t here, it’s because they don’t fit the criteria.)
Jarryd Hayne, 2009
This was the greatest individual try I had ever seen at the time. Given the circumstances, the stage, the team he did it against and the amount of people he beat in such a small space, it will remain up there until someone can top it in a game with as much meaning.
The stage was the first week of the finals. The minor premiers, the St George-Illawarra Dragons, were up against the eight-placed and late-surging Parramatta Eels. Jarryd Hayne was in, without question, some of the most blazingly consistent form ever seen in a rugby league field, but no-one ever really saw an eighth seed upsetting the first seed coached by Wayne Bennett.
The Eels were amazingly up seven when this shit actually happened:
That is the definition of a nail in the coffin.
Jarryd Hayne, 2010
Aaron Wallace mentioned this one via Twitter after publication, and it is so damn good it had to go in:
Already, that’s better than Inglis’ try in this man’s opinion — not that I wish to influence the votes below. Although on balance and given the stage, I’ll take his 2009 effort, but no-one would begrudge this one ahead of his earlier effort.
Michael Jennings, 2009
Here’s a try scored against the Roosters. Bet you didn’t see that coming here at 26 Rounds, huh?
When you can lay claim to a 109 metre effort off your own bat, you can probably die a happy man. You’d die happier if you eventually stuck with it and scored the greatest try in Grand Final history just four years later for the club you scored your 106m special against, however.
But even if you didn’t score a try to seal a grand final, you could live well knowing you pulled this off:
I don’t know if this is individual brilliance alone, or a combination of a shit kick, horrible chase and even worse recovery by the eventual wooden-spooners, but I’d lean towards the former.
Did I mention that Jennings’ a Rooster?
Brett Mullins, 1995
This try came about when I first started understanding rugby league — and it remains the reason why I think Brett Mullins is the most exciting fullback I have ever seen when in flight.
This guy, all legs and bones, takes the ball from dummy half after an OK set and with the opposing fullback deep. He then pre-empts Billy Slater’s try in Origin a decade later with this incredible effort:
To be able to slow down juuuust enough to negate inertia and to put in a second perfectly-weighted chip kick is just remarkable. He then went on to play a pivotal role in the Roosters’ 12th premiership seven years later.
You bring up the name Brett Mullins and people tend to say “oh yeah, Mullins” like he’s an afterthought, and that’s largely to do with a career that ended up being hampered by injury.
But he was a freak, and this try stands the test of time.
Eric Grothe Snr, 1985
I never saw this try live, but my father told me all about it. God bless Youtube. If Hayne’s try gets bonus points for the stage it was on, then so does this — as well as it being in the five-metre era and when ciggie sponsorship was legal:
I need a Winfield after that.
Eric Grothe Jnr, 2009
… But then his son does this:
My favourite part of that is the old-school in-and-away to kick off the break and make that extra bit of space on his outside. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen an in-and-away, and I miss it.
Stacey Jones, 2002.
I still shake my head at how the smallest person in the history of people managed to do this, in a Grand Final, against a revolutionary defence at the time.
I don’t give a shit that this came against the Roosters; in fact, I’ve actually watched the replay of this Grand Final specifically for this effort from the New Zealand Warriors’ halfback:
Wow. What a little master, and it’s such a shame that he finished the NRL without a premiership — but unreal he didn’t break the duck that night despite one of the more memorable individual tries ever scored in a Grand Final.
Personally, I can’t go past Jarryd Hayne in 2009. The effort alone was enough to keep it burned in the memory, but given the stage, the opponent and the upset it sealed — I’ll never forget it.
But what do you think? Is Greg Inglis’ try really the greatest you have ever seen? Let 26 Rounds know in the poll below.
(If you think I’ve missed one catch me on Twitter, Facebook and in the comments below to give me what for. And link to the video if you can; I’m lazy as shit and I’m not about to go looking for it.)