Throughout each year teams and players score tries that make you sit up and yell. Some have meaning because of the game they're played in (the try that shouldn't have been for Life over St. Mary's in the DI-A final; the game-tying try by Seamus Kelly for Cal in the Varsity Cup final, the Nick Edwards try that helped the Eagles 7s team make the quarterfinals in Las Vegas), and some are good because of how well-constructed they are - slick passing, smart use of a game plan (USA v. Japan).
This year RUGBYMag.com's Try of the Year is a little bit of both. It's Nick Wallace's score against Georgia November 16.
Here's why we picked it:
1. It was significant. For a team on a long losing streak, it was the try that helped ensure victory in a very close game.
2. It was in a high-profile, high-level game - a major international.
3. It was the result, in part, of some good team play by the Eagles.
It all started from a lineout on the right sideline. Georgia took too long to throw in and the USA got a free kick. The forwards punched it up and then the backs attacked down the left sideline. Everyone got involved in desperately trying to secure the ball. Samu Manoa made a crucial run to get go-forward, and Andrew Suniula's biggest contribution was in the rucks.
4. The try itself was a prop's dream.
Having gone to the left sideline, and then back to the middle of the field, the USA quickly switched direction again, a smart move by scrumhalf Mike Petri and whoever was talking to him. A quick pass to Cam Dolan, and then Dolan committed two defenders and popped a pass to Nick Wallace coming into the gap hard.
Wallace wanted to pass to Suniula on the his. But Suniula was covered, so Wallace dummied, and realized that a Georgian defender was right in front of him. The former St. Mary's prop lowered his shoulder and flattened the hapless tackler. Still he looked to pass, but the passing lane was blocked, so he fended off another tackler and raced jubilantly to the tryline.
It was a brilliant solo effort created by the entire team, it meant something, and boy was it fun to watch.
RUGBYMag.com's Try of the Year goes to USA prop Nick Wallace, November 16 against Georgia.
Want to see the try? Click here.