One of the truly unique things about rugby is that it is a sport for all shapes and sizes. It may be a great cliché but you only have to look through a modern professional side to see what we mean. It is this factor that leads to some of the most magical sporting moments as wingers smash players twice their size whilst giraffe like locks duck under tackles.
However crowds usually reserve their biggest cheer for what has come to be affectionately known as the fatman try. The moment a prop bursts through the on-rushing defence, the momentary realisation that they are through the line, the panic, the fear, and then the joy as the fatman rushes for the try line like a baby wilder beast being released into the wild. Here we celebrate 7 of the greatest fatman tries of all time;
1. Soane Tonga’uiha v Saracens
The giant Tongan prop finds himself pinned out on the wing when he receives the ball, despite this no thought of passing in-filed crosses Tonga’uiha’s mind as he powers towards the try line. A 30m dash ensues as he brushes off defenders before crossing the line huffing and puffing to touch down.
2. WP Nel v Leinster
South African prop WP Nel receives the ball in midfield before bursting through a gap in the oppositions defensive line international centres would be proud of. So surprised are the Leinster defence that they momentarily fail to react, but by the time they get their act together it’s too late as Nel’s momentum powers him over the try line.
3. Richard Bands v New Zealand
South African prop Richard Bands scores a try that will live long in the memory as he follows up his initial burst through the defence by smashing the All Blacks defenders out of the way after showing an unexpected initial turn of pace.
4. Trevor Woodman v Northampton
The Gloucester prop powers his way to the try line in front of his home crowd as he smashes through the Northampton defence even throwing in the slightest hint of a side step in the process (although this may just have been his stomach catching up with his legs).
5. Ben May v Reds
Ok so May might not have finished off this try in the end as he was tackled agonisingly close to the try line but he deserves a mention just for this incredible run. Throwing in a few steps, dummy passes and a shimmy May bombards his way through the Reds defence looking more like a fly-half than prop.
6. Steve Thompson v Australia Legends
2003 World Cup winning hooker Steve Thompson scored a magnificent 60m solo effort in a charity match several years after hanging up his boots. Despite appearing to run out of steam half way up the pitch Thompson manages to continue on even throwing in a splendid dummy before crossing the line.
7. Gethin Jenkins v Namibia
The Welsh centurion showed it all in this try against Namibia as he quite literally hopped, skipped and jumped his way to the try line and even through in a couple of dummy passes for good measure.
Which is your favourite fatman try of all time?