England vs. Australia: Ranking the 6 Best Tries in Cook Cup History

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistOctober 30, 2013

England vs. Australia: Ranking the 6 Best Tries in Cook Cup History

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    A fixture most famed for the 2003 Rugby World Cup final that produced one of the most memorable moments in the sport's history, England and Australia share a history stretching back more than a century.

    Established in 1997, the Cook Cup has produced some memorable encounters over the last 16 years, the Wallabies winning a dozen meetings and England winning another nine with one draw.

    Like any fixture of this quality, the contest between two of rugby's titans has thrown up a batch of tries that are of a particularly high standard, despite the fact the cup is still quite young.

    With World Cup matches not counting towards the Cook Cup, read on to find the top six Cook Cup tries, special marks being awarded for flair and team cohesion.

6. Kurtley Beale Chip-and-Chase

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    The first of two scores for the Australian on the day, Kurtley Beale's slicing contribution during a 2010 Autumn international at Twickenham initially gave the full-back's side a hope of clawing back their substantial deficit against England.

    However, despite bagging a brace, the Wallabies would eventually go on to lose the match 35-18, their second consecutive loss against England that year.

    Although Beale's involvement with Ewen McKenzie's side isn't at its best right now, this chip-and-chase effort following a scintillating break through the hosts' line goes down as a wonderful consolation.

5. Manu Tuilagi Bulldozes the Wallabies' Defence

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    Only once has Manu Tuilagi ever scored in a match that England would then go on to lose, proving to be something of a good-luck charm for the English national team in an attacking sense.

    It just so happened that one loss would occur after the Samoan-born centre powered over for this particular beauty during the 2012 Autumn internationals, showcasing everything that makes Manu a Tuilagi.

    By rights, any other player who was found by Brad Barritt on the left wing at that moment may not have rallied home with as much security as the Leicester Tiger, but Tuilagi would eventually batter his way home, stretching out an arm to just about bag his eighth international score.

4. Matt Giteau Finishes Sweet Team Run

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    Unfortunate not to be the glamorous climax to a rousing Australian win, Matt Giteau managed to get on the end of this textbook team try during England's 2010 tour of Australasia.

    The utility back was vigilant enough to maintain his strong support play, with Rob Horne, Drew Mitchell and James O'Connor all combining in sync before sending their compatriot over for his second try of the match. 

3. Nick Cummins

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    Despite what the video's title may suggest, Nick Cummins' 2012 score against England was certainly not voted IRPA Try of the Year, but it was a very impressive piece of back play nonetheless.

    The Australian winger may have capitalised on a questionable pass from scrum-half Nick Phipps, but the try was ruled legal and the neutral can be glad as a result.

    In truth, it was Phipps' stellar running through the English backs that makes this such an entertaining try, although that's not to take anything away from Cummins' diving finish.

2. Elton Flatley's Length-of-the-Pitch Effort

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    The second-best, lung-gasping run on this list came courtesy of an Elton Flatley march in a 2002 Test, the likes of which even a speedy Jason Robinson was unable to prevent.

    The Wallabies would eventually go on to lose this match 32-31 in what was the third of five back-to-back victories England enjoyed against Australia at the turn of the century.

    Feeding off the scraps of some sloppy England ball retention, Flatley manages to go from one 22' to the other in a matter of seconds, sheer entertainment being the outcome.

1. Chris Ashton Super Try

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    The try that brought Chris Ashton's swan-dive scoring celebration to new heights of publicity, the winger's 2010 length-of-the-pitch showstopper was arguably the finest exercise in speed that England had produced since the days of Jason Robinson.

    Admittedly, Ashton managed to get the best of his man on the outside initially, but the job is far from done after he surges toward the Australian half.

    Cutting in to beat the final defender while not dropping the slightest bit of speed is a telltale sign of extremely proficient finishing. While Ashton hasn't maintained that standard on the international stage, this try best emphasises the player's glory years.