This weekend sees the European Rugby Champions Cup Final (PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, FIND A SNAPPIER NAME) head to sunny France. On Saturday we’ll be treated to Racing 92 v Saracens from Lyon as both sides look to get their mitts on European rugby’s most prestigious prize for the very first time.
In honour of this grand occasion we decided to compile a list of what we think are 10 of the very greatest touchdowns to light up the grandest stage of this thrilling competition. Having agonised over whittling it down to this extended shortlist we’re not even going to begin trying to rank them further, so they’re presented in simple chronological order. Enjoy!
1997: Brive v Leicester Tigers - Sébastian Viars
Following crushing work by Polish cannonball Greg Kacala, Viers hits the ball at full steam just inside his own half, flying home with the help of a pair of stout hand offs.
2001: Stade Francais v Leicester Tigers – Leon Lloyd
With one minute left on the clock, Austin Healey throws a filthy great step to scythe through the Stade defence and feed Lloyd in for his second try of the game in the corner.
2003: Toulouse v Perpignan – Pascal Bomati
Deep into overtime with the game already out of sight, Perpignan wing Bomati got on the end of this fairly outrageous reverse chip through from Aussie stand off Manny Edmonds.
2006: Munster v Biarritz – Peter Stringer
The glabrous Irish midget scored arguably the greatest No.9 try of all time as Munster finally got their hands on the trophy in 2006. With Serge Betsen dozing in the scrum and acres of openside to attack, Stringer threw everyone on the pitch a dummy, with his arse more than anything, before scampering round to touchdown.
2008: Toulouse v Munster – Yves Donguy
Donguy was the man to eventually touch down but Cedric Heymans provided the inspiration with a trio of excellent decisions on the fly.
2010: Toulouse v Biarritz – Karmichael Hunt
Tri-code footballer Hunt finished off this slick long range counter following a snappy tap penalty from a scrum. Whilst I didn't add the bombastic music to the clip, I can’t say I disagree with it.
2013: Toulon v Clermont – Brock James
Aussie 10, Brock James, picked the stiff lock of Toulon’s defence with a deft chip over the top and was on hand to barge through the open door, after strong work from that ruddy great beanpole of a centre, Aurélien Rougerie.
2014: Toulon v Saracens – Matt Giteau
Wilkinson to Giteau to Mitchell and back. Not a bad bunch of players to be tossing the ball about. Wilko’s switch opened up space on the wing before the two Wallabies exploited it with wonderful precision.
2014: Toulon v Saracens - Juan Smith
Following some heavy Saracens’ pressure Toulon were able to release Mathieu Bastareaud. The fat lump sucked in defenders before Smith showed hands softer than a bairn’s backside and plenty of composure to run in a great team try.
2015: Clermont v Toulon – Drew Mitchell
Old snake hips blazes through the triffling matter of six (!) tackles here en route to securing his side their 3rd European title on the spin. Combines the holy trinity of pace, power and vision to create a try that Alan Hanson can really get on board with.
Enjoy that? Feel free to call us morons and post which tries you think should have been included in the comments below.