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Top 20 Tries of the 2022 Currie Cup

The Pumas dazzled on their road to immortality, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld as he reveals his 20 best tries of the 2022 Currie Cup. 

The Pumas dazzled on their road to immortality, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld as he reveals his 20 best tries of the 2022 Currie Cup. 

The Lowvelders produced highlights aplenty en route to claiming their first-ever title, including the top two touchdowns of the season. Watch how magic touches and tremendous teamwork across the board led to the majority of the year’s most memorable scores…

20: Raider Of The Lost Art

Sharks hooker Fez Mbatha served up this treat of a try when he hooked a brilliant, rarely-seen tighthead against the Lions at Ellis Park. Fast-thinking Cameron Wright broke down the blindside, sold Quan Horn a dummy, and strolled over to leave the Lions in disbelief. 

19: Lineout Purr-fection

The Pumas stunned Western Province with this purring piece of set-piece perfection in Nelspruit. Eduan Swart’s throw-in to the back of the lineout was spot on, as was Anele Lungisa’s mid-air ball back inside to Shane Kirkwood, the pillar of a pod from where Corne Fourie broke off and beat three defenders to dot down.

18: Up And Over

Hanru Sirgel scored the try that inspired Griquas’ shock semi-final win over the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld. Rynhardt Jonker’s brilliant 20-odd-metre cut-out pass to Munier Hartzenberg created the opportunity with the winger racing ahead and expertly putting his hard-working flank in.

17: Captain Fantastic

Known for his brutal physicality, Pumas captain Willie Engelbrecht bamboozled the Cheetahs as instead of taking contact, he executed a beautiful behind-the-back pass that put Eddie Fouche into a hole and over under the posts as the visitors drew first blood in the Bloemfontein semi-final.

16: Forward Flair

Reniel Hugo had a standout game for the Sharks against the Lions at Ellis Park, which included executing a chip any flyhalf would be proud of. Mpilo Gumede gave chase and showed impressive soccer skills to dribble the rolling ball ahead and dive onto it for the try.

15: Team Work Makes The Dream Work

The most famous five-pointer of the season came in the second semi-final in Bloemfontein, where Ali Mgijima touched down at the death as the Pumas pipped the Cheetahs to reach the final for the first time in their storied history. Thinus de Beer provided the spark as he darted through a gap and spun in contact to get an offload away to Llewellyn Classen, who freed up Mgijima for the historic match-winning try.

14: Blue Lightning

The Bulls produced this cracking set-piece try against the Cheetahs in Round Three. Seamless lineout play saw the ball whisked to captain Cornal Hendricks at first receiver, who hit Chris Smit in the deep. He timed and executed his cut-out pass to David Kriel to perfection, with the latter linking up with Sibongile Novuka, whose express pace saw him outstrip four defenders and dot down spectacularly in the corner.

13: Running Of The Bulls

A Bulls team brimming with United Rugby Championship stars trampled Griquas in Kimberley. The pick of the men from Pretoria’s seven tries came from their 22, with Kurt-Lee Arendse’s masterful manipulation of space and offload seeing him free up Stedman Gans, who watched his step to stay infield, drew the last defender, and fired the final pass to Cornal Hendricks.

12: Lions Feed Off Scraps

The Lions turned scrappy lineout ball into a brilliant try in their catfight against the Pumas in Nelspruit. Jurich Claasens snapped up a tap back on the bounce and beat two defenders with a step and offload to James Tedder, who carved his way through and linked back up with his scrumhalf whose offload saw Sasko Ndlovu hop and bounce over in the corner.

11: Space Invaders

A grinding build-up from a five-metre lineout turned into a top try for the Bulls in the North/South derby at Loftus Versfeld. Keagan Johannes’ cut-out pass was key, as was Bismarck du Plessis’ basketball-like follow-up, with space manipulator Marco Jansen van Vuren providing the pivotal step inside and offload for David Kriel to dot down.

10: Blue Wave Washes Over Lions

Seamless interplay produced this peach for the Bulls in the Jukskei Derby at Ellis Park, with Werner Gouws stepping off his left foot and finding a doubling up Stedman Gans, who channelled his inner David Campese with a brilliant over-the-shoulder pass for James Verity-Amm, who slithered out of a tackle to touch down.

9: Stepping Up

Western Province gave the unbeaten Cheetahs their toughest test up to that point in Round Six in Bloemfontein, where hot-stepping from Rikus Pretorius and Angelo Davids took them from 22 to 22 where the winger was brought down. Slick offloading had the hosts scrambling and Davids got his hands back on the ball and provided an acrobatic finish in the corner.

8: Cheetahs Make It Rain

The Durban rain didn’t stop the Cheetahs from turning on the style in their win over the Sharks. Clayton Blommetjies expertly played Cohen Jasper into space with the winger stepping and shipping the ball inside to Andisa Ntsila, who skinned Joaquin Diaz Bonilla with fantastic footwork and had the pace to go over.

7: Great Work All-Around

Vision and accuracy from Tristan Leyds, skill by Sergeal Petersen and hard work by Angelo Davids to sweep across to the other wing and run onto his fellow flyer’s pop pass earned Western Province a cracking five-pointer against the Cheetahs in Cape Town.

6: Counter-Striker

Tim Swiel produced a superb piece of counter-attacking against the Pumas in Nelspruit, chipping, collecting and linking up with Godlen Masimla with a ridiculous offload. His halfback partner proceeded to swerve past the first defender and blitz the second to score a try that inspired a win that snapped Western Province’s seven-match losing streak.

5: Peacock Blues Spread Their Wings

Dazzling interplay between wings Munier Hartzenberg and Luther Obi bewildered the Bulls and led to Zander du Plessis dotting down in Kimberley. Hot-stepping Hartzenberg beat three defenders and drew another before linking back up with Obi, who commanded the attention of three more Bulls before popping the ball to his unmarked midfielder.

4: Too Hot To Handle

Sometimes, the opposition conjure up something ridiculous you simply cannot defend. That was the case for the luckless Lions in Nelspruit, where a behind-the-back ball and clap by Pumas super-subs Ali Mgijima and Devon Williams saw Alwayno Visagie bag a five-pointer.

3: Lighting Up Stellenbosch

Western Province and Griquas put on a 12-try thriller in Stellenbosch, the pick of the bunch seeing Tim Swiel running onto an audacious no-look chicken-wing offload from Sergeal Petersen and rounding off a remarkable counter-attack created by Keke Morabe’s turnover.

2: 0 To 100 In 16 Seconds

The Pumas proved they’re dangerous from absolutely everywhere in a thrilling clash against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld, with wing Sebastian de Klerk, who scored a hat-trick on the night, starting and finishing a magnificent 100-metre try.

1: Tickled Pink

A turnover from Daniel Maartens led to the Pumas going coast to coast against the Sharks in Nelspruit. Two metres from his try line, Eddie Fouche had the conviction to play what’s in front of him and chip the defence. The ball bounced perfectly and off the men in pink went, with Lucky Dlepu and that man Maartens particularly pivotal before quick-thinking by Sebastian de Klerk and fast hands by Alwayno Visagie saw Anele Lungisa finish off on his birthday.

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    Quintin Van Jaarsveld is a former MDDA-Sanlam SA Local Sports Journalist of the Year and a former three-time Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal Sports Journalist of the Year. Formerly the sports editor and Outstanding Journalist of the Year award winner at The Fever Media Group, deputy editor at eHowzit, editor at SARugby.com and senior staff writer at Rugby365.com, he boasts over 15 years’ experience and is currently a freelance sports writer.

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