The unnoticed piece of skill that makes van der Merwe's wonder try even better
By Rugby Onslaught

The unnoticed piece of skill that makes van der Merwe’s wonder try even better

Unless you are a rugby fan that has been living under a rock this past week, you have probably seen Duhan van der Merwe’s first try against England many times.

As far as solo efforts go, they do not come much better than the Scotland wing’s try, and to do it in a Six Nations Calcutta Cup clash only makes it more impressive. One thing that has been picked up by some people online that may have gone unnoticed at first, but only makes the try even better.

After beating four defenders on his way to the try line, it actually looked as though England No8 Alex Dombrandt was going to be able to stop the South African born winger from ten metres out. But van der Merwe was able to brush him aside to score. The impressive thing about his hand off was that he did it with his right hand, which had been carrying the ball right up until Dombrandt was basically about a foot away from him.

Even while the 27-year-old was stepping the penultimate tackler, Jack van Poortvliet, the ball was in his right hand. In fact, the scrum-half was still in contact with van der Merwe when he swapped the ball into his left hand, just a split second before Dombrandt attempted his tackle.

Amid a run full of pace, power and footwork, a little piece of skill like that might be missed, but the try would probably not have been scored if it was not done.

Take a look:

Gregor Townsend praised his winger after the match, saying: “It was incredible, wasn’t it? It reminded me of when, for everybody of a certain age, you played Jonah Lomu Rugby and suddenly one person can go quicker.

“Duhan hasn’t had much rugby over the last few weeks. He’s trained really well with us but to play like he did today on the back of an injury, and not playing for Edinburgh, is real testament to how he’s got himself in this position, both mentally and physically.

“And I almost saw a different side to Duhan there as he stepped and then accelerated away.

“His finish for the last try was similar to two years ago (an 11-6 victory) when he finished in the opposite corner.

“It was a brilliant finish but that first try was amazing, and one that gets the Scotland supporters going crazy in the stand and silences everyone else because you don’t see tries like that very often.”