The contenders for the International Rugby Players (IRP) Try of the Year 2018 have been revealed, with the winner to be announced at the World Rugby Awards in Monte Carlo on 25 November.
Two of the tries shortlisted began with turnovers deep in their team’s own half with New Zealand second-row Brodie Retallick and fly-half Beauden Barrett the finishers, with the others scored by Ireland number eight CJ Stander and Scotland winger Sean Maitland.
Barrett, the 2016 and 2017 World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year, is bidding to become the first player to win the Try of the Year award twice after receiving it in 2013 for his try against France.
The four tries were selected by the IRP Try of the Year panel of former players: New Zealand’s Melodie Robinson, Ireland’s Ronan O’Gara, Italy’s Marco Bortolami and Wales’ Shane Williams.
This new-look panel will select the winner of the 2018 award.
BEAUDEN BARRETT (NEW ZEALAND)
With 12 minutes to go at Eden Park in the second Bledisloe Cup test, Brodie Retallick stripped Australia prop Tom Robertson in the New Zealand 22 and quickly offloaded to TJ Perenara. The scrum-half found Damian McKenzie and the replacement set off on the counter-attack, beating two defenders in a 30-metre burst before offloading to Anton Lienert-Brown on his outside. Lienert-Brown took it over halfway before releasing Ben Smith, who had Beauden Barrett on his outside, the fly-half stepping inside Marika Koroibete and then diving over to score his fourth try in the match, minutes after having another try ruled out.
SEAN MAITLAND (SCOTLAND)
A lofted pass from Finn Russell took out England pair Jonathan Joseph and Jonny May, giving centre Huw Jones the space to run from one 22 to the other at Murrayfield in the Calcutta Cup match. Although hauled down by May, his team-mates were quickly in support to recycle the ball and keep the English defence scrambling as Scotland went left with Russell throwing another lofted pass to create the room for winger Maitland to dive over in the corner to the delight of the home crowd.
BRODIE RETALLICK (NEW ZEALAND)
This free-flowing try started and finished with the All Blacks second-row. Retallick was quickly through on Australia scrum-half Will Genia in the first match of the Rugby Championship in Sydney, turning over the ball and offloading to Damian McKenzie to launch the counter-attack. Beauden Barrett and Ben Smith helped take play into the Australian half before the All Blacks recycled and swung the ball from right to left, the fly-half finding Retallick who sold Bernard Foley with an outrageous dummy and ran in from nearly 30 metres.
CJ STANDER (IRELAND)
Playing with an advantage after Maro Itoje took out Peter O’Mahony at a lineout in England’s half midway through the first half, Ireland chanced their arm with Conor Murray finding Johnny Sexton, who had Tadhg Furlong in support. The prop was able to spin and pass to Bundee Aki, the centre bursting through into the 22 before finding CJ Stander on his inside. The number eight still had work to do and was hauled down short by Richard Wigglesworth and James Haskell, but his momentum took him forward and he was able to ground the ball against the base of the post for the try.
World Rugby Chair Bill Beaumont said: “We are proud of our collaboration with International Rugby Players and the IRP Try of the Year reflects the partnership with which we approach key player welfare and player-related topics.
“There have been so many superb tries this year, making the job hard for the IRP selection panel, and the final shortlist is one of great quality.”
IRP Chief Executive Omar Hassanein said: “This year’s shortlist features some of the most exciting tries we’ve seen in years. The four tries from CJ Stander, Brodie Retallick, Beauden Barrett and Sean Maitland all feature some fine team efforts in the lead up. Whoever wins this award will do so in the knowledge that it is the collective achievement of many players – in essence, what the International Rugby Players as an organisation is all about.”
For more details on the World Rugby Awards, visit www.world.rugby/awards.
2017 – Joaquin Tuculet (Argentina) – Argentina v England
2016 – Jamie Heaslip (Ireland) – Ireland v Italy
2015 – Julian Savea (New Zealand) – New Zealand v France
2014 – Francois Hougaard (South Africa) – South Africa v New Zealand
2013 – Beauden Barrett (New Zealand) – New Zealand v France
2012 – Bryan Habana (South Africa) – South Africa v New Zealand
2011 – Radike Samo (Australia) – Australia v New Zealand
2010 – Chris Ashton (England) – England v Australia
2009 – Jaque Fourie (South Africa) – South Africa v British and Irish Lions
2008 – Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland) – Australia v Ireland
2007 – Takudzwa Ngwenya (USA) – South Africa v USA