The 2023 try of the year has already been scored
We may still have eleven and a half months left of the year, but any team on Earth will be hard pushed to beat USA Perpignan’s try at the weekend.
Up against ASM Clermont Auvergne at the Stade Marcel Michelin, the visitors silenced the crowd early on with a try that seemed to cover every blade of grass on the pitch and involve every player.
Missed kicks to touch from a penalty are often annoying for a team, but they are rarely as costly as it was for Clermont’s Jules Plisson, who kicked into Perpignan’s 22 in the first half. Fullback Boris Goutard kept the ball in play and immediately shaped to kick. It may have been the onrushing tacklers that forced him to dummy his kick, it may have been that he saw some space, we do not know, but he proceeded to produce a series of left footed steps to beat three tacklers on the trot before passing to his winger Lucas Dubois. Then things really started going.
Dubois found outside centre George Tilsley in space out wide, and the Kiwi began the truck the ball up field in the 15 metre channel. Clermont brought him to ground, but Perpignan were able to quickly cart the ball the opposite direction thanks to some nifty handling from the forwards which left winger Ali Crossdale in space on the other flank. The ex Wasps winger stepped in field and put on the after burners and looked as though he was going to score himself. He was scragged a few metres from the line, but was able to bounce back to his feet and ship the ball to No8 Genesis Mamea Lemalu, who dived over the line.
Despite this wonder try, Perpignan came away from the match empty handed, losing 31-20, but at least their try was memorable.
Take a look:
— TOP 14 Rugby (@top14rugby) January 9, 2023