The Roar
The Roar



Xavier Coates' try in Origin 2 was spectacular and totally unnecessary

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Roar Rookie
12th November, 2020
1598 Reads

I can’t be the only one who saw it.

Halfway through the seventh minute, Xavier Coates receives a crafty flick pass from Dane Gagai and finds himself in all sorts of space.

He sprints forward and flips his six-foot-four body over an invisible high jump bar, with the ball palmed in his outstretched arm.

He plants it millimetres inside the touchline. ANZ Stadium gasps, Queensland roars, and comparisons to Israel Folau are made in living rooms around the country.

Xavier Coates of the Maroons scores a try

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

But did he need to do it?

Coates caught the ball well on the outside of his opposite number Daniel Tupou with James Tedesco flying across in defence.

He appeared to jump for the line roughly a metre out. His vertical leap was spectacular but certainly delayed the time it took him to plant the ball over the line.

Had he stayed low and pushed the ball forward it seems reasonable to assume he would have got it down sooner, a safer option with the only defensive pressure coming from the left side.


There’s no doubt it was an amazing display of acrobatics and a truly spectacular try, but it looks like Coates had much more space than he knew and didn’t need to jump like that at all.

It was a fast-paced, split-second decision but it was probably the less safe option and might have been a demonstration of inexperience – a quality he would go on to demonstrate on a few occasions at ANZ Stadium.

I can’t help but think had he put that ball down on the touchline or lost it in the air, his decision to flip rather than dive forward would have been a bigger talking point.

Still, as a Blues fan, Coates’ skill and athleticism definitely has me worried, and at 19 years old he’s got plenty of time to find his composure at this level.

Bring on Game 3!