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World Rugby has today revealed their four-man shortlist for try of the year – with two All Blacks players on their list for scores against Australia.
The accolade, which has been awarded since 2007, will fall to either Ireland’s CJ Stander, Scotland’s Scott Maitland, Beauden Barrett or Brodie Retallick – both of New Zealand, at the World Rugby Awards on November 25.
Stander was nominated for his physical effort against England, where he pulled two defenders along with him for almost ten metres to score a try that put Ireland up 14-0 in their 24-15 Six Nations victory.
Maitland’s try, which put Scotland up 17-6 in their victory over England, came after a barnstorming run by Stuart McInally, before he received a brilliant pass from Finn Russell near the touchline on the very next phase to cross.
But it’s the two New Zealand nominations that will have Australian fans taking an unwanted trip down memory lane, after both Barrett and Retallick were nominated for crossing the line in Bledisloe cup matches.
Barrett finished off a beautiful chain of passes as the All Blacks went coast-to-coast with ease on the Wallabies in the second Bledisloe game, while it was a very slick dummy by Retallick in Bledisloe 1 that saw him make the list.
Should Barrett triumph, he’ll be the first ever player to win the try of the year award twice, after he picked up the award in 2013 for a highlight reel effort against France.
If either All Blacks player receives the award, it will be the third time a New Zealand player has won. That would move them into equal first alongside South Africa, however, Ireland will be able to do the same should Stander win the award.
Scotland have never won it.
On the flip side of the coin, an All Blacks victory would see Australia move into equal first (interestingly, alongside the All Blacks) for having the try of the year scored against them three times.
Australia last won the award in 2011, when Radike Samo was commended for his thrilling score against the Kiwis.