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1,607 Welsh Tries . . . But Which Was The Greatest?

The Welsh Rugby Union is asking fans to vote for the ‘Greatest Ever Welsh Try’ in a new social media competition.

Supporters selected 16 tries from the 1,607 scored by Wales in their 739 full internationals since 1881 and now the WRU are searching for the public’s favourite.

Some of the greatest players to wear the famous red shirt are included in the list – Sir Gareth Edwards, Shane Williams, Ieuan Evans, Gethin Jenkins, Scott Gibbs, and Phil Bennett.

Former leading try-scorer Evans has two tries in the list, while current top scorer Williams is also included twice.

All the tries have been paired up and fans will be asked to vote for their favourite. The winning scores from the first round will then move into a quarter-final clash then a semi-final spot beckons before potentially a final shoot-out for the ultimate honour – the ‘Greatest Ever Welsh Try’.

“It’s a great idea that should settle a few long running arguments. Having looked at a number of the scores they are typical of the flair that everyone around the world loves and respects in Welsh rugby,” said Wales head coach Wayne Pivac.


“Seeing Gareth Edwards and Phil Bennett showing off their extraordinary skills once again brought a tingle to the spine. Weren’t they fantastic! I’m just glad they didn’t include the Teddy Morgan one from 1905!

“It’s great that there are tries from recent Grand Slam season’s – 2005, 2012 and 2019 – included and I really enjoyed watching Justin Tipuric running 30 metres to the posts against England earlier this year.

“I’m sure fans will have plenty of fun re-living so many special moments and getting involved in the voting.”

There are players from four Welsh clubs and three regions included in the 16 scores. Allan Bateman was at Richmond when he scored at Twickenham in 1998, while Josh Adams was a Worcester Warriors player in 2019.

Which team will have the honour of saying their player scored the ‘Greatest Welsh try’ and which player will be the pick of the Welsh fans? Make sure you join in the fun and vote for your favourites.






Scott Gibbs v England 1999 (Wales 32 – 31 England)

The dancing feet of Scott Gibbs paved the way for an incredible and iconic try at Wembley that helped Wales beat England and deny them the Triple Crown, Grand Slam and Championship. Wales kicked a penalty to the England 22, Garin Jenkins found Chris Wyatt and Rob Howley sent the ball infield to Scott Quinnell. The No 8 then fed Gibbs 25 metres out. He burst through the first line of defence and sidestepped his way past everyone else. What a try and what a day out at Wembley!


Graham Price v France 1975 (France 10 – Wales 25)


‘They’ll never believe it in Pontypool,’ wailed commentator Niger Starmer-Smith after debutant Pontypool prop Graham Price outsprinted whippet JJ Williams in the Parisian cauldron of Parc des Princes to pick up a bouncing ball and plough over to score after a length of the field chase. Price registered a fifth try for Wales as Mervyn Davies led his side for the first time in what was Wales’ biggest win in Paris since 1909.


Keith Jarrett v England 1967 (Wales 34 – 21 England)

Less than six months out of Monmouth School, teenage tearaway Keith Jarrett latched onto a cross kick from Colin MacFadyean on his 22 and race up the left touchline to become only the second Welsh full back to score a test try. He was 18 and marked his debut with 19 points as Wales won 34-21.


Keith Jarrett v 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (1967)


Ieuan Evans v 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 (1988)

Vote here 🗳️ https://t.co/ci1zZeE6tE pic.twitter.com/byICXlhsFD


Ieuan Evans v Scotland 1988 (Wales 25 – 20 Scotland)

“It was magic, magic, magic all the way, not even Merlin the Magician could have done it any better” – that’s how legendary commentator Bill McLaren described Ieuan Evans’s try that kept Wales on course for the Triple Crown. He got the ball 30 metres out on the right wing and three sidesteps and a swerve took him past five Scottish defenders before scoring at the posts. One of the best of his then record Welsh try tally of 33 tries.


Gareth Edwards v Scotland 1972 (Wales 35 – 12 Scotland)

There were still 70 metres to go when Gareth Edwards got the ball from a line-out maul on his 22. He handed-off Rodger Arneil, exploded up to half-way, chipped over Arthur Brown and then hacked the ball the length of the 22 to the right corner. “Can he score, it would be a miracle if he does,” pronounced Bill McLaren in his commentary. His dive beat two more Scots and he went head over heels in the mud as he scored. “You can’t get any better than that in international rugby,” was McLaren’s pay off line.


Scott Williams v England 2012 ( England 12 – 19 Wales)

‘Scott the Ripper’, a second half replacement at Twickenham, provided the magic moment that earned Wales the Triple Crown and sent them on their way to another Grand Slam. It was a moment that neither he, nor England lock Courtney Lawes, will ever forget. England drove to the half-way line with the scores locked at 12-12 with five minutes to play. Lawes was held up in the maul, Williams joined in and ripped it out of his grasp. He ran 10 metres, grubber kicked ahead, got a kind bounce and regathered to score the try with a ‘Superman’ dive that tipped the scales in Wales’ favour.


Gareth Davies v England 2015 (England 25 – 28 Wales)

“From one scrum half to another,” was how Eddie Butler described this World Cup sickener for host national England. Time was running out in the first big clash in Pool A as England led 25-18. Wales had lost three members of their back line, which meant scrum half Lloyd Williams had to come on to play on the wing. With 10 to go Wales attacked from half-way. Williams was freed up on the left edge and ran up to the 22 before putting in a teasing left-footed grubber kick from touchline to goalposts. Gareth Davies, who had launched the move, supported up the middle, grabbed the bouncing ball and crashed over at the posts. Dan Biggar converted and then kicked his seventh penalty to win the game and send England crashing out of the World Cup.


Shane Williams v Scotland 2010 (Wales 31 – 24 Scotland)

The clock was in the red, Stephen Jones had just levelled the scores and the referee insisted 13-man Scotland had to re-start the game. The kick-off went to the home 22 and 66 seconds later, after seven phases and nine other Welsh players had touched the ball, Shane Williams was three to pounce at the posts. With five minutes to go Wales trailed by 10 points and looked dead and buried. No wonder BBC commentator Andrew Cotter pronounced “Shane Williams has won the most dramatic game in this season’s Six Nations, and perhaps in any Six Nations.”


Phil Bennett v Scotland 1977 (Scotland 9 – 18 Wales)

Three classic Welsh sidesteps, a jack-hammer hand-off and a brilliant pass under pressure combined to produce a try from their own 22 for Wales skipper Phil Bennett. Steve Fenwick launched a counter-attack from his 22 and Gerald Davies broke the Scottish defensive line with two sidesteps and a hand off that allowed him to free Bennett. David Burcher was in on the act on the right wing and his overhead pass inside to co-centre Fenwick came on half-way. Fenwick was confronted by Alastair McHarg, but in the blink of an eye he somehow passed back inside to Bennett on the home 22. Bennett had Bill Gammell to beat and one final, magical sidestep took care of him.



Allan Bateman v England 1998 (England 60 – 26 Wales)

Stuart Barnes claimed it was “the 1970s revisited” as Allan Bateman raced in for his second try at Twickenham. It had all started on the Welsh try line and stunned the home crowd. Gareth Thomas was the creator, breaking from the try-line to the England 190 metre line in a mesmerizing, high speed run. The ball was then sent from left to right and Bateman free Wayne Proctor just outside the 22. The replacement wing then passed back inside to Bateman for a stunning score.


Gethin Jenkins v Ireland 2005 (Wales 32 – 20)

He played 56 times in the Six Nations and scored one try. But what a try it was! Mike Ruddock’s Welsh side were chasing a first Grand Slam in 27 years and it was the legendary Cardiff Blues prop who steadied the nerves with a classic charge-down try. Ireland won a ruck on half-way, Peter Stringer fed Ronan O’Gara and, as the Irish No 10 shaped to kick ahead, Jenkins bore down on him. He managed, with outstretched arms to block the kick, hack the ball the length of the 22 and keep his nerve to dive on it over the line and score a vital try. The stadium erupted and Jenkins was on course for the first of his three Grand Slams. “Can you believe that from a prop,” said Brian Moore in commentary.


Shane Williams v South Africa 2008 (South Africa 37 – 21 Wales)

“That’s mesmeric, world class,” said the commentator after Shane Williams had weaved his way past six Springbok defenders in Pretoria in the second Test of the summer tour to put Wales ahead. The ball was turned-over on the right touchline just inside the Welsh half and Williams picked up the loose ball and sped past the first defender. As he reached the 22 he had four more waiting for him. A dummy side step and outside swerve turned them inside out and one final cover defender was beaten for pace. It was one of five Test tries he scored for Wales and the British & Irish Lions in South Africa.


Josh Adams v England 2019 (Wales 21 – 13 England)

There was no way back for England once Josh Adams soared above Elliot Daly in the 79th minute to convert a penalty advantage cross-kick by Dan Biggar into what Eddie Butler described as an “absolutely sensational” try. Wales were leading 16-13 and had a scrum in the England 22 wide on the left. The scrum wheeled and Wales were awarded a penalty. Aled Davies fed Biggar, who kicked with pin-point accuracy across to Adams on the right wing. He leapt above Daly, tipped the ball forward, regathered, hit the deck and then got up to stretch over the line. The Grand Slam was on!


Ieuan Evans v England 1993 (Wales 10 – 9 England)

England waltzed into Cardiff as back-to-back Grand Slam champions and with a win over France to boost their hopes of a hat-trick. Wales, on the other hand, came into their first game of the Championship on a wing and a prayer having started the Nineties with 15 defeats and a draw in 21 games. But all that changed when flanker Emyr Lewis chipped ahead from a ruck outside his 22 and Ieuan Evans gave chase on the right wing. He beat Rory Underwood to the ball on the England 10 metre line, hacked past Jon Webb at full back and sped his way into immortality with a try that gave Wales a 10-9 just before the break. There were no points scored in the second half.


Justin Tipuric v England 2020 (England 33 – 30 Wales)

Wales trailed 20-9 at half-time at Twickenham and needed a fast start to the second half. Justin Tipuric ensured they got just that. George Ford’s re-start went deep to Nick Tompkins in the Wales 22 and the centre opened up. He set Josh Navidi free on the right wing and then took a return pass. Another inside offload allowed Tomas Williams to race over half-way and he drew the last man before giving Tipuric a 30 metre race to the posts. There were only 23 seconds on the clock and Wales were back to within five points with the conversion.


Alex Cuthbert v England 2013 (Wales 30 – 3 England)

A Grand Slam for England or back-to-back titles for Wales? That was the simple equation coming into the game, although Wales had to win by seven or more points to hold onto their crown. In the end they notched a record win over the auld enemy and Alex Cuthbert grabbed two tries. His second was a classic, started by a terrific burst upfield into the English half by Sam Warburton. Quick hands from left to right made it 2 v 1 with Justin Tipuric and Cuthbert against Mike Brown. Tipuric threw a dummy to twist the full back inside out before delivering the try on a plate to his wing.



One thought on “1,607 Welsh Tries . . . But Which Was The Greatest?

  1. This is the most ridiculous competition ever.But I think that the try ‘Japanee’ Jones scored against someone in 192- takes the palm.Incidentaly ‘Japanee was so called because his mother was Chinese;which makes it a ridiculous moniker for the winner of a ridiculous competition.

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