Practising those set-moves on the training pitch can pay off massively in a tight match, especially when they’re executed properly and result in match-winning tries. To celebrate all the buzzer-beaters and gloriously elaborate set-pieces in rugby, we’ve rounded up the best of the best pre-planned moves in recent years.
5. All Blacks vs Springboks (2011)
It was clear that the All Blacks were picking up a level of clinical finishing and momentum ahead of their World Cup winning campaign in 2011, and their set-piece try in the Tri Nations that year was evidence of that. Colin Slade rounded off the outstanding team try which saw no ball-carrier touched by the Springbok defence throughout the entire move.
4. All Blacks vs Wallabies – Bledisloe 1 (2012)
The All Blacks strung together a brilliant attacking move in the opening Bledisloe match of the Tri Nations series in 2012. From a scrum around the centre of the pitch, Daniel Carter used Conrad Smith and Sonny Bill Williams as decoy runners to attract the attention of the Wallaby defence, before delivering a brilliant pass to Israel Dagg on the outside. Dagg was then able to make Wallaby fullback Kurtley Beale look absolutely silly by ambling his way around him to score.
3. Springboks vs Lions (2009)
The Springboks were at their peak against the impressively strong British and Irish Lions side back in 2009. The second Test was a real highlight, and after trailing in the second-half, something special was needed from the Boks. Scrumhalf Fourie du Preez orchestrated a great backline move that only required one pass to Bryan Habana, but it was the clever timing, decoy running from the backs, and Habana’s classy finishing skills which made it work.
2. Otago vs North Harbour (2014)
Playing against North Harbour in the ITM Cup in 2014 season, Otago produced one of the most amazing backline moves the competition has ever seen. The move resulted in a try by winger Fa’asiu Fuatai, who finished off the elaborate maneuver excellently.
1. All Blacks vs Wallabies (2000)
Of course, the best set-move seen in history has to be the All Blacks’ bamboozling try against the Wallabies back in 2000. Finished off by Christian Cullen, this move saw every single player in the backline, plus numerous forwards, play a role in the phase. This All Blacks set piece is imaginative, a nightmare for the defending team and just amazing to watch as a spectator.
What’s your favourite set-piece move in rugby? Let us know in the comments section below…