Ranking the 5 Best Tries in Australia vs. South Africa Matches

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistSeptember 4, 2013

Ranking the 5 Best Tries in Australia vs. South Africa Matches

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    Following last weekend's rest period for the four teams involved in the southern hemisphere tournament, this week once again welcomes back the Rugby Championship.

    In similar circumstance to last year, South Africa and Australia once again meet in quite opposite morale, with the Wallabies having been comprehensively beaten by New Zealand in their two fixtures, while South Africa are yet to drop a point.

    That being said, the clash between the two promises to be the most evenly matched of the summer competition thus far.

    Down the years, South Africa and Australia have had their fair share of crunch deciders, producing almost as many top-quality tries, the most highly regarded of which can be found below.

    Unsurprisingly for a feature of this sort, there's a heavy dosage of Bryan Habana up ahead.

5. Bryan Habana Caps off Springboks Hat-Trick

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    The third but not least impressive of Bryan Habana's three tries against Australia in the 2012 Rugby Championship is centralised more around the team effort than the speedster's individual greatness.

    Already having dominated for the vast majority of the game, the 79th-minute score topped off the Springboks' ideal revenge mission for having lost the first meeting between these two earlier in the tournament.

    Swinging from the left flank to the right, Heyneke Meyer's forwards did a great job of advancing the ball up the pitch before Francois Louw took it upon himself to ignite something more dramatic.

    Confidently carrying in one mammoth hand, a perfectly timed offload to Habana put the winger in to finish off an expertly executed phase of South African pragmatism.

4. Australia Go Posts to Posts in Three Phases

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    No matter how much the modern-day prop evolves in terms of stature and mobility, there's still that sense of sheer joy when one sees a front-row play crashing over the whitewash from the wing.

    Beginning in their own 22', a piece of customary ingenuity courtesy of Quade Cooper set the wheels in motion for some of the best counterattacking rugby one will have seen in recent years.

    The fly-half dummies before stepping his marker a little more than 10 yards off his own try line before making a promising break, using Kurtley Beale when the Springboks' defence collects itself.

    Play slows thanks to a poor Beale pass in the direction of James O'Connor, but the speed through the hands from right to left flank makes up for any lost time, with South Africa simply too vulnerable to withstand it.

    Thankfully, it's Alexander who's best placed to deal with the honours in this Australian opener for the 2011 Tri Nations.

3. Bryan Habana A.K.A. “The Blur”

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    So many times has Habana's pace allowed him to pull off this kind of feat, getting the extra yard on his opposite man where most others simply can't.

    During the 2005 Tri Nations Series, the South African back took it upon himself to almost single-handedly dismantle the Wallabies' defence in front of their own crowd.

    Of course, it's times like these where one must argue what's more valuable: a multi-phase team try filled with excellent technical skills and smooth hands or just a few seconds of human athleticism overcoming the odds.

    In a way, there is no right answer, but this length-of-the-field try certainly has one leaning in one direction for now.

2. Matt Giteau Threads the Needle

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    In opposite fashion to the previous Habana try, Drew Mitchell's score during the 2010 Tri Nations victory in Australia was more a feat of technicality that physicality.

    However, it was the minutes leading up to the try that also impress, showing slow but practical build-up play from Robbie Deans' men, carefully picking their holes when ready.

    Flanker Rocky Elsom was a particularly prominent figure in the match and showed his leadership well in this move, popping up regularly on either wing to help advance his team's position.

    However, it's the silky hands of Matt Giteau that, after the centre manages to lure three defenders in, actually find the space to pass between three Springbok bodies to Drew Mitchell.

    Mitchell kindly obliges by simply diving over for the score, but there's no dampening the beautiful build-up. 

1. Bryan Habana Length-of-the-Field Stunner

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    So simple in essence and yet so rare in its existence, the length-of-the-field try is a phenomenon that every fan loves bearing witness to.

    And, in that realm, Habana is somewhat of an artist, scoring two in the 2005 Tri Nations, of which his first was perhaps the more impressive.

    Despite the fact that Rocky Elsom's tracking back may have been good enough to catch your average winger, Habana is nothing if not extraordinary in those terms.

    George Gregan also does his best in catching up to the pint-sized wide man, but he gives up when he realises just what kind of a force he's up against.