Ryan Crotty and 6 Other Famous Last-Minute Tries

Danny CoyleFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2013

Ryan Crotty and 6 Other Famous Last-Minute Tries

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    Phil Walter/Getty Images

    Ryan Crotty’s 82nd minute try for New Zealand sent his homeland into raptures as the All Blacks sealed 14 wins in 14 games this year.

    But for Irish fans, it was a dagger through the heart as their first win over the men in black was ripped from their grasp.

    Last-gasp tries will do that to supporters, delivering one set of fans to dream land and condemning the other mob to sporting purgatory.

    There is no time to come back, no chance for turning the tide. A game you’ve been winning until the very end with your players in a heap of despair and supporters in a stunned collective silence.

    The history books are pocked with just such moments, so let’s have a look at six more famous late scores.

1. Serge Sinks the Wallabies, 1987

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    In the fag-end of the 1987 World Cup semi-final, the score was locked at 24-24 between France and Australia, with the clock running out.

    Australia had been strong favourites to progress to the final and face New Zealand, but they were up against an outrageously talented French side.

    In the final minutes, they demonstrated just how dangerous they were when they escaped from their own 22-metre line and surged up field, flinging the ball left and right until it landed in the hands of Serge Blanco.

    The talismanic full-back dived in at the corner to score. French adventure at its best had brought Australia to their knees with no time left to get back up.

2. Irish Dreams Dashed by Lynagh, 1991

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    Ireland were a tough proposition for anyone at their old Lansdowne Road home.

    But they looked seriously over-matched when the star-studded Australians of Campese, Lynagh and Horan rolled up to contest a place in the semi-finals of the second World Cup.

    Gordon Hamilton’s try with five minutes left looked to have secured a famous win, but Australia had time to mount one last surge.

    After Campese was stopped just short, his pop was gathered by Lynagh to inflict a feeling anyone at the Aviva last Sunday will know well. 

3. The Try from the End of the World, 1994

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    Jean Luc Sadourny finished off a move that sealed a second consecutive tour win for France over the All Blacks in 1994.

    The try became known as "The Try from the End of the World" and it was scored with the final play of the game in Auckland.

    Philippe Saint-Andre collected a kick down field and set off through heavy All Black traffic.

    When he was caught, the ball was recycled quickly and France found themselves with men to spare on the right.

    They flooded through the outgunned All Black defenders and switched angles for the ball to be spread left, where Sadourny could hammer a late nail into the All Blacks’ coffin.

     

4. Lomu's Late, Late Show, 2000

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    In front of the largest Test match crowd in history, Australia’s new Olympic stadium was stunned into silence as New Zealand raced into a three-try lead against the Wallabies.

    The hosts roared back to level the scores after half an hour and were leading 27-24 at half-time.

    In the second 40 minutes, they worked themselves into a winning position at 35-34 with the game into the fourth minute of injury time.

    New Zealand had one last card to play, though, and it was being held by big Jonah Lomu, who tiptoed up the touchline to give his side victory in arguably the greatest game ever played.

5. Luger's Trial by TV, 2000

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    In one of the first high-profile tests of the TMO system at international level, England emerged victorious over Australia at Twickenham, thanks to Dan Luger’s last minute score.

    Iain Balshaw’s kick into the dead-ball area seemed to have too much distance for the chasing English wing, but Luger blindsided Wallaby No. 9 Sam Cordingley to claw the ball on to the turf.

    Referee Andre Watson referred the decision to his television match official who confirmed Luger had grounded the ball before sliding into touch and England had their victory.

6. Munster's Miracle, 2003

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    In the last round of pool play in the 2003 Heineken Cup, Munster required a four-try victory secured with a margin of 27 points.

    In a barely believable afternoon at the old Thomond Park, they managed just that thanks to John Kelly’s last-minute try, converted by Ronan O’Gara.

    The 33-6 score meant the Irish province would proceed to the knockout stages and sent the game into rugby folklore.