Cheslin Kolbe wins Champions Try of the Season!
Toulouse wing Cheslin Kolbe has added Champions Try of the Season to his Heineken Champions Cup winners’ medal after being selected by Virgin Media’s expert pundit and two-time European Cup winner Alan Quinlan.
The Springboks star scored the breathtaking try all the way back in Round 1 against Ulster Rugby, collecting a pass from Thomas Ramos before beating two Ulster defenders, kicking over another and collecting after two bounces to slide over the whitewash in remarkable fashion.
The decision of former Munster back-row Quinlan, in combination with the votes of European Rugby fans, saw Kolbe come out on top, ahead of Antoine Dupont’s sizzling score in the Round of 16 against Munster Rugby.
Speaking about the tries nominated for the prize, Quinlan said: “It had outstanding skill, pace and individual brilliance from Cheslin Kolbe to score”.
“In second place, it was great hands from the Toulouse backs and a wonderful step from Matthis Lebel who found Dupont on the inside line to score. And in third, a real team move with a lovely cross field kid from Ihaia West to Victor Vito who showed great footwork to step the Sale Sharks defender and then produced a brilliant offload to Gregory Alldritt for the try”.
Alldritt’s try came in La Rochelle’s quarter-final win over Sale Sharks, whilst Alivereti Raka of ASM Clermont Auvergne came in fourth place and Juan Cruz Mallia of Toulouse took fifth spot.
Alldritt wins Champions Try of the Round prize
La Rochelle’s Grégory Alldritt has landed the Champions Try of the Round for the quarter-finals after being selected by Channel 4 pundit Jamie Heaslip, as well as help from the public vote.
Alldritt’s try edged out the score of his La Rochelle teammate Geoffrey Doumayrou, as well as the stunning individual try from Tom O’Flaherty (Exeter Chiefs) and Jordan Larmour’s try for Leinster in the same match.
In a close battle with Larmour, Alldritt’s try (36%) came out on top after getting the backing of former Leinster No.8 Heaslip.
« For me, the quality of the try was due to a combination of factors most notably, awareness and superb execution. First, there’s Ihaia West’s recognition of a kink in the Sale defence, followed by his pin-point kick to Victor Vito out wide. Then we have Vito’s excellent footwork, brilliant offload out of the tackle and finally, Grégory Alldritt’s clever supporting line and finish. If you were looking for an example of KBA (Keep the Ball Alive), this was just about as good as it gets ».
Antoine Dupont lands Champions Try of the Round award
Antoine Dupont has notched up another accolade for him and for Toulouse as Cécile Grès agreed with the fans to award him with Champions Try of the Round for the Round of 16.
The scrum-half’s first try in the impressive 40-33 win at Thomond Park polled 58% of the public vote as well as earning the praise of this week’s expert from France Télévisions.
“Matthis Lebel’s stunning footwork was clearly the main feature of the try, but you also have to take into account Antoine Dupont’s clever support line. This try gets my vote because it was the turning point of the match in Toulouse’s favour”, said Grès.
Three of the other four contenders came from TOP 14 clubs as the French contingent booked five of the eight places in this weekend’s quarter-finals. Kotaro Matsushima finished second with 27% of the votes, with the impressive efforts of Maxime Machenaud (Racing 92), Arthur Retière (La Rochelle) and Henry Purdy (Bristol Bears) also having been shortlisted from a bumper weekend of tries in Europe’s elite club tournament.
Alivereti Raka finishes Champions Try of the Round
ASM Clermont’s spectacular try against Munster Rugby has won the Champions Try of the Round award thanks to the fans’ votes and BT Sport Ugo Monye’s opinion : “Another round where we saw a lot of tries but, for me, Raka’s was the best of the lot. Clermont who went on to lose the game showed that even in defeat they can look unplayable. Peceli Yato moved from the back row to the second row and was devastating, side-stepping and manipulating Munster defenders before delivering a perfectly placed and weighted offload for Raka. His was the simple finish but the try was all about [the work of] Yato.”
Cheslin Kolbe wins first Champions Try of the Round award
Cheslin Kolbe’s spectacular first try for Toulouse against Ulster Rugby has scooped the first Try of the Round award in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup.
The South African’s score landed hundreds of votes and was chosen ahead of excellent tries from Donavan Taofifenua (Racing 92) and Ian Madigan (Ulster Rugby).
Kolbe’s try was also the pick of beIN SPORTS pundit Rodolphe Pires, who said: “For me, Cheslin Kolbe’s try against Ulster Rugby is a clear winner from Round 1. Not just for its individual brilliance, but also because the opportunity was created by teamwork.
“Toulouse are quick to exploit a turnover with intelligent link play by Sofiane Guitoune and Thomas Ramos and then, the focus is on Kolbe’s outstanding ability to produce a score out of virtually nothing.
“With his speed and footwork, we all witnessed what was a superb try last Friday evening by unquestionably the world’s best wing.”