Five great tries in Rugby World Cup

The 2015 Rugby World Cup is currently underway in England. Of the sixteen original teams that qualified, Australia, Wales, South Africa, Scotland, New Zealand, Argentina, Ireland and France made it to the knockout rounds. Host nation England was eliminated and Japan, despite a sensational upset win over South Africa in their opening pool game, just barely failed to make the next round despite having the same won-loss record as South Africa and Scotland.

In the quarter final round, South Africa beat Wales 23-19, Argentina beat Ireland 43-20, New Zealand trounced France 62-13 and today Australia beat Scotland 35-34 in an exciting game in which the lead changed sides four times, with Australia grabbing it in the final 30 seconds.

In the semi-finals, South Africa plays New Zealand on the 24th and Australia plays Argentina on the 25th. The losers will play for third place on Saturday and the championship game will be on Sunday, October 31st.

Below is a clip of five excellent tries during the tournament. For American football fans, a ‘try’ is the equivalent of a touchdown except that the score only occurs when the player actually touches the ground with the ball, unlike in American football where the ball only has to cross the plane of the goal line. Each try scores five points. Penalty goals count for just three points.

Another important difference is that the kick for two extra points following a try must be taken along the line where the ball is touched down. So players scoring a try attempt to get as close to the goal posts as possible before touching the ball down in order to give the extra points kicker an easier straight shot through the goals posts. But these kickers are really good and will often nail it even when they have to do so from close to the sidelines where the angle is acute and the distance greater.

Watching these five tries gives you a sense of how fast-paced the game of rugby is.


  1. Baji~Naji says

    The lead up and execution of the final try in the Japan vs. South Africa game is definitely my favourite for this world cup.

  2. Raucous Indignation says

    The ball carrier in number 2 was down by contact!! How can he just roll over the goal line after he’s down!? Are the refs blind?! Where’s the instant replay!? Get your head out of your ass and throw the damn challenge flag Coach!!

  3. Rob Grigjanis says

    Scotland was robbed by an awful call by the South African ref. Oz was awarded a penalty at the death for a Scotland offside, when the ball clearly came off a Wallaby. There’s also a silly rule that the ref can’t ask for a TV review for offside.

  4. Mano Singham says

    Raucous @#3,

    I noticed that too but am not sure whether the rule is the same in rugby as it is for American football.

  5. electrojosh says

    #3 In Rugby (union) play does not stop when a tackle occurs. The tackled player is allowed to place the ball -- either to ground it for a try or behind them so their team can retrieve it easier*. Also it is allowable for their momentum to carry them over (as in the video).

    It is probably worth noting a couple of other rules that seperate Rugby from Amercian Football: the ball can only be passed backwards or laterally (never forward) and only the player carrying the ball can be tackled.

    As a New Zealander (where this is the number sport) I have been loving this world cup -- especially the demolition of France that the All Blacks (NZ’s national team) just perpetrated in the quarterfinals:

    Also, just to confirm, that is a record scoreline in a Rugby World Cup knock-out game.

    *Without going into too much detail -- the ball becomes contestable by both teams once a tackle occurs the defending team will attempt to take the ball off the tackled player and the attacking team will attempt to retain it. Each team will commit players to push the opposition over the ball in what is known as a “ruck” (there are rules around this which, to someone not familiar with the game, are usually the most complicated to follow).

  6. says

    I was reading a bit recently about the history of the various forms of “football”. Soccer, Rugby and American football all evolved from the same game, basically a massive melee between two teams with a ball involved. In the mid 19th century Colleges in the US and Britain banned the games because they were too violent. Each sport is the result of attempts to regulate what was initially a chaotic mess. First the number of players were limited (football and soccer ended up 11 a side, rugby 13 or 15). There are other elements of similarity in the three games that show up like vestigial limbs on a whale. Soccer and American Football look very different now, but they evolved from the same common ancestor, and Rugby is where you can really see a lot of that similarity.

    The differences between Rugby and American football really begin with the “line of scrimmage” as opposed to the “ruck” or “scrum” in rugby. Once the line of scrimmage and the 10 yards in 4 “downs” became the standard for American Football, our game began developing along a distinct path of towards precision. Football became a game of inches in a way Rugby can’t be.

    Believe it or not it is possible to enjoy all three games 😉

  7. jockmcdock says

    The world Cup has been fantastic, so far. I’m sure it will continue to be.

    The quarter finals were sensational. SA snatched victory late in the game from the Welsh. The All Blacks were absolutely awesome against the French -- frighteningly so! Argentina played brilliantly against Ireland, who (unfortunately) were missing a couple of key players.

    But the cream of the crop (for me) was Scotland v Australia. I have to confess to a conflict of interest. I’m a Scottish-born Australian. I support Australia against anyone and Scotland against anyone other than Australia.

    But a couple of referee’s decisions cost Scotland. First, the “deliberate” knock-on. He was trying to intercept the ball, not knock it on. He should not have received a yellow card.

    But, of course, the main talking point was the penalty at the end. I think the referee got it wrong. The ball came off Phipps (Australia). The ref should have given Australia a scrum which would have made things difficult for Australia given the time remaining.

    Here’s a youtube video about the incident.

    Australia were excellent going into attack but conceded three weak tries in defence. If the ABs meet them in the final and both teams perform at the level shown on the weekend, we’re in serious trouble.

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