When one thinks of props, one sees gnarled, grizzled and grotesque orcs, with visages ravaged by time and an endless procession of scrums, rucks and mauls.
Props are the cornerstones of any pack and are arguably two of the most important positions on the pitch when considering the impact the set-piece can have on any match.
Yet the footwork and flair of these bastions of power and muscle can often go ignored. This article pays tribute to just some of the beautiful scores set up and finished by the most unsung of any XV.
11. Graham Price’s Length-Of-The-Field Try Against France
On his debut, Graham Price decided to shock the rugby world by scoring this beauty of a length-of-the-field try. Wow.
10. Richard Bands Thwarts New Zealand
The Springboks’ tighthead seem to be forget the number on his back as he charged through the All Blacks’ defensive line, embarrassing the awaiting Carlos Spencer in the process. It’s time to add a one in front of that three.
9. Trevor Woodman Dances Past The Saints
It’s time to call Strictly Come Dancing, as Gloucester’s Trevor Woodman shows a fantastic shimmy to ghost his way to the try line. It’s one Wayne Sleep would be proud of.
8. Gethin Jenkins Takes On The Whole Of Namibia
Wales’ Gethin Jenkins decided to take on most of the Namibian side by himself and took half of them to the try line as he thundered his way over. A real beauty.
7. Soane Tonga’uiha Acts As A Makeshift Winger
Despite being an absolute hulk of a man, Tonga’s Soane Tonga’uiha defined the laws of physics as he charged his way towards the try line.
6. Anthony Perenise Powers His Way To The Line
A beautiful step and some wonderful power took Samoa’s Perenise over the line against Northampton Saints. It’s almost Andy Goode-esque in its aesthetic quality.
5. Pablo Lemoine Gets Over Against World Champions England
In his last game for Uruguay, current Uruguayan coach Pablo Lemoine entered the history books by barrelling over against England’s normally water-tight defence.
4. Gordon Reid: The Hidden Winger
Move out of the way, rugby-position-based-stereotypes, Gordon Reid is showing props have pace too.
3. Ben May Resembles David Campese After A Few Roo Many Beef Burgers
Okay, so this isn’t technically a try, but how can you ignore this majestic run from the Chiefs’ Ben May? If only he’d scored. New Zealand raconteurs will be retelling the story of this run for centuries to come.
2. Michele Rizzo Times It To Perfection
Just to prove that props can do more than just push really hard and lift really well, Treviso’s Rizzo shows that their running lines and timing can be pretty awesome as well. We salute you, Michele.
1. Corbisiero Rolls Over Against Australia
This isn’t the prettiest, but then neither are most props. What is stunning here is Alex’s roll to line after a tackle that would have wiped out most people’s legs. This try went on to set up a Test series win for the Lions and their first series win since 1997.
That’s just some of the great prop tries that have been scored over the years. Just remember: all we are saying is give props a chance.
Paul Wassell, Pundit Arena
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