International Rugby

Wales vs. Australia: Ranking the 6 Best Tries in Rivalry

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2013

Wales vs. Australia: Ranking the 6 Best Tries in Rivalry

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Wales and Australia end their November Test series with an explosive encounter this weekend, pitting two of the world's biggest talents against one another for the fifth time in the last 18 months.

    These two nations first met in Cardiff 105 years ago and come back to the Welsh capital on Saturday with the Wallabies having won their last eight consecutive meetings.

    Ewen McKenzie's side have improved tremendously over the last month, winning their last three matches in a row after a disappointing run at this summer's Rugby Championship.

    Looking down the history of the fixture, read on for a ranking of the best tries scored between the two countries.

Honourable Mention: Ieuan Evans' Disallowed Effort in 1987 World Cup

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    Unfortunate not to stand as a result of a questionable refereeing decision on a forward pass earlier in the play, Ieuan Evans can count himself unlucky not have scored one of the all-time great tries against Australia.

    Going from one half to the other in just a matter of phases, this effort has everything: a clean break from Welsh territory, smooth hands and a gallop of pace from Evans to round things off.

    Jonathan Davies was the man who began the move and even the speed of Michael Lynagh wasn't enough to hound down winger Evans once he was in his stride.

6. Scott Higginbotham Rounds off 11-Phase Sequence

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    Far from the most glamorous of tries to have occurred between these two rugby titans, but Scott Higginbotham was the man who got on the end of a patient and well-calculated sequence for his side in 2012.

    In the opening Test encounter of Wales' tour Down Under last year, the flanker dove over to cap off a barrage of forward probing against the Welsh visitors.

    In the 11 phases leading up to the try, just about every member of the team got a touch of the ball, showing just how cohesive a team effort this score was.

5. Shane Williams Turns on the Afterburners

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    Australia were just one of the nations to feel Shane Williams' sting down the years and this 2005 try showed off the one standout talent in the winger's locker: speed.

    On the back of mounting Australian pressure, Martyn Williams took a quick penalty in midfield before the ball was swiftly shifted out to the left wing.

    As the partnership had done so often in their international tenure alongside one another, Gareth Thomas helped in keeping the chance alive against what looked like a well-positioned Wallabies defence, but an inch of space was all Williams needed to punish the Southern Hemisphere side.

4. Julian Huxley Glides over from Chip-and-Chase

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    One of several standout tries in this 2007 encounter between Wales and Australia, Julian Huxley's chip-and-chase try was a quick and easy method for his side to break down Wales' defence for the third time in the match.

    The bounce may have been kind to the fly-half-cum-full-back, but it doesn't dampen the excitement of this piece of individual genius from just inside the opposition half.

3. Kurtley Beale Last-Minute Winner in Cardiff

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    Kurtley Beale's international career may not be at its most fruitful right now, but the playmaker was nonetheless responsible for some memorable bits of brilliance while still in the spotlight.

    During last year's November Test series in the Northern Hemisphere, that brilliance rose to the fore when Beale got himself on the end of a surging sequence from the Australians, originally started by Berrick Barnes.

    Showing some superb support, a combination of sloppy Welsh defence and well-timed Australian ignition made for a tremendous 80th-minute winner that gifted the visitors a dramatic winner at the Millennium Stadium. 

2. Paul Moriarty Finishes Smooth Counter-Attack

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    Another try from the 1987 World Cup third-place play-off, Paul Moriarty succeeded where the aforementioned Ieuan Evans could not, crossing the whitewash on the back of some swift Welsh counter-attacking.

    Hooker Anthony Buchanan made the initial break into Wallabies territory after seeing the ball stripped from the opposition by Richard Webster.

    Moriarty had white-line fever written all over him but handled the pressure well, touching down with options all around.

1. Shane Williams Cruises over Early in Cardiff

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    The Welsh wonder himself comes out on top of the pile thanks to this 2008 score that was started off by the winger inside his own half before finally being finished by him, too.

    After making the clean break through Australia's midfield, Lee Byrne picked up the slack and seared down upon the enemy line.

    Just as things looked lost, however, the ball was recovered, swung out to the line where none other than Williams had gotten back into his most dangerous position, finishing with the same comfort crowds have seen 100 times over.

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