Médard wins Try of the Season
Toulouse wing Maxime Médard has won the Try of the 2018/19 Season for his first-half score in his club’s thrilling 22-21 Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final win over Racing 92 in March.
His 30th-minute effort at Paris La Défense Arena received the majority of votes from the fans and was the first choice of the expert, BT Sport’s Ben Kay, who described it as “one of the greatest European tries”.
The former England lock said: “Toulouse were needing inspiration, away from home and with a man sent off and in a game of such magnitude. In one sweep across the field, you get one of the finest passes you’ll ever see and an offload from another planet. With just a slight flick of Ntamack’s wrists, the ball seemingly continued to fly, on a flat trajectory, like a laser-guided missile. Tauzin used his feet to force two defenders to commit, then threw the perfect offload completely blind and out of the back door to take them out. As the defence scrambled, Toulouse’s ability to keep the ball alive and avoid contact saw the finish to one of the greatest European tries.”
For the second time this season, Leinster Rugby’s James Lowe has been named Champions Try of the Round, beating off competition from Michael Rhodes and club colleague Scott Fardy to land the semi-final edition.
Lowe won the first weekly competition of the season with the second of his brace against Wasps in a thumping win for the holders at the RDS Arena and his effort against Toulouse in the Heineken Champions Cup semi-final at Aviva Stadium gained the unanimous plaudits of the voting fans and Virgin Media’s Matt Williams.
“James Lowe finished a superbly executed Leinster try, that announced to the rugby world that the reigning champions are defending their title with determination and great team skill,” said Williams. “After several pre-planned and perfectly executed phases, Sean O’Brien delivered a brilliant offload to Lowe who still had a lot of work to do. Lowe justified his selection by crashing over in the corner, finishing a magnificent team try.”
It is the fourth Leinster Rugby win in eight competitions to date this season, with Maxime Médard of Toulouse the only other player to win it twice during the 2018/19 campaign. A Champions Try of the Season competition will follow the Heineken Champions Cup Final in Newcastle.
For the second time this season, a Maxime Médard try was deserving of the accolade of Champions Try of the Round, winning the approval of both the public vote and Matthieu Lartot, of France Télévisions.
Médard’s effort in the home win against Leinster Rugby took the Round 2 honours in October and his score in the thrilling away win over Racing 92 in the quarter-finals not only helped to set up a repeat meeting with the holders but also pipped Adam Byrne (Leinster), Keith Earls (second try for Munster Rugby), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) and Teddy Thomas (Racing 92) to recognition as the best from a stunning weekend in the Heineken Champions Cup.
“Maxime Médard’s try is the embodiment of total rugby,” enthused Lartot. “With speed (in the transformation of the game), accuracy (in decision-making and passes), talent and inspiration with the ‘magician’s hat’ of [Lucas] Tauzin and intelligence in the runs of [Sofiane] Guitoune and Médard: it approaches perfection.”
For the third time in the pool stage, Leinster Rugby have come out on top in Champions Try of the Round, with Noel Reid the latest to win the competition.
Reid rated second among the fans from more than 1100 votes cast but finished ahead of Filipo Nakosi (RC Toulon), Rob Baloucoune (Ulster Rugby), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) and Simon Zebo (Racing 92) after being rated the best by beIN SPORTS’ Erik Bonneval.
“It’s a team try based on speed”, said Bonneval, “where each player involved makes the right move, with well-timed passes between the forwards and the three-quarters.”
The next Try of the Round competition will come after the semi-finals, combining the best of the tries from the Heineken Champions Cup knockout rounds. That will be followed by the prestigious Try of the Season competition following this season’s Finals Weekend in Newcastle.
Exeter’s Nowell chief of the Round 5 scorers
Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell has come out on top of the Round 5 Champions Try of the Round competition, with his score against Castres Olympique earning the plaudits of Virgin Media’s Shane Horgan.
As guest pundit, Horgan noted that Nowell “announced his return to the Exeter team after injury with a superb individual try that showed he hasn’t lost any of his trademark speed or footwork. This try capped a Heineken Man of the Match performance.”
Try of the Round is decided by a combination of the public vote and the choices of a prominent rugby expert and whilst the public favoured Edinburgh Rugby’s James Johnstone’s spectacular effort in Toulon, Nowell won when the two selections were put together.
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) January 17, 2019
Leinster Rugby continue to rack up the accolades in 2018 with Rory O’Loughlin’s score against Bath Rugby named the final Champions Try of the Round of the calendar year.
Once again, the HeinekenChampionsCup.com vote was consistent with the thought of our guest expert, with Channel 4’s Bryan Habana commenting: “Leinster oozing pure class with forwards and backs involved in a scintillating score.”
It’s the second time this season that a Leinster player has won the competition after James Lowe’s success back in Round 1. O’Loughlin’s try came ahead of Antoine Dupont’s second against Wasps and tries for Willie le Roux, Virimi Vakatawa and Sinoti Sinoti. The competition will continue after Round 5.
Stunning Morgan try named best of Round 3!
Matthew Morgan’s sensational solo try for Cardiff Blues in their Pool 3 match away to Saracens has scooped the award for Try of the Round from Round 3 of the Heineken Champions Cup.
Morgan’s score was the preferred try of guest pundit, France Télévisions’ Raphaël Ibañez describing it “an extraordinary solo feat. His counter-attack is masterful!” Over 1,500 votes were cast through HeinekenChampionsCup.com, with Morgan’s score winning 31% of the public vote, a narrow second behind the all-important try of Gloucester Rugby’s Willi Heinz in the win at Exeter Chiefs. Ibanez’s pick was enough to settle a competition of exceptional tries ahead of Jacob Stockdale, Cheslin Kolbe and Simon Zebo.
Decisive Médard try selected as the best of Round 2
More than 1,100 fans took part in the public vote for the second Try of the Round competition of the season, with the public vote agreeing with BT Sport’s Ugo Monye that Maxime Médard’s crucial score for Toulouse against Leinster Rugby should take the honours. For the first time, the order of the fans’ selections from one to five mirrored that of our distinguished rugby expert, who took the match situation into account when making his choice, placing it ahead of Thomas Young (Wasps), Teddy Thomas (Racing 92), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby) and Steve Mafi (Castres Olympique).
“The match-wining try against the reigning European champions,” proclaimed Monye. “Try of the weekend not just for the skills displayed but for the moment and the occasion too. Maxime Médard, a Toulouse and rugby legend, has started the campaign in scintillating form.”
🔥🏉 And here is it is – your try of Round 2 of #ChampionsCup! 🏉🔥
Thanks for your participation! pic.twitter.com/4UxQ61JoTu
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) 25 octobre 2018
Leinster scoop Best Try award
One of Leinster Rugby’s eight tries on the opening round of the Heineken Champions Cup has picked up the first Try of the Round award of the new season. The second of James Lowe‘s brace against Wasps won through a combination of a public vote and the selection of beIN SPORTS‘ Dimitri Yachvili: “Magnificent team effort from the Irish. They are constantly on the front foot and they play so accurately with the bonus of the pass between the legs from Johnny Sexton. It had everything.”
Behave, @johnnysexton 😚
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) 17 octobre 2018
The shorlist also included the tries scored by the following players : Sofiane Guitoune (Toulouse) against Bath Rugby, Michael Rhodes (Saracens) against Glasgow Warriors, Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues) against Lyon, Henry Immelman (Montpellier) against Edinburgh Rugby.