Half a century has passed since what is widely regarded as the game's best score
The greatest try ever scored. Fifty years ago today, Sir Gareth Edwards applied the finishing touch to what most regard as the best rugby union try the game has ever seen.
The Wales scrum-half dotted down for the Barbarians against the All Blacks at Cardiff Arms Park on 27 January 1973 in a moment that few who were there to witness it will ever forget.
A Welsh legend in Cliff Morgan was on commentary that day but it was another legendary No 10, Phil Bennett, who started the move deep inside his own 22.
Bennett put on three outrageous sidesteps to evade numerous would-be New Zealand tacklers before hurling a lovely pass off his right hand out to the left.
A couple of quick offloads found centre and 1971 British & Irish Lions captain John Dawes who made inroads down the left before passing inside to Tom David, who hurled the ball back to the left as he was being tackled.
No 8 Derek Quinnell scooped low to gather before popping it to the onrushing Edwards, who hurtled down the wing at break-neck speed before diving in at the corner for an exhilarating Barbarians try.
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It was a sensational Barbarians try that went through seven pairs of hands (Gareth Edwards, Phil Bennett, JPR Williams, John Dawes, Derek Quinnell, Tom David, and John Pullin.)
Morgan’s commentary went as follows: “Kirkpatrick to Williams. This is great stuff. Phil Bennett covering, chased by Alistair Scown. Brilliant, Oh, that’s brilliant. John Williams… Bryan Williams, Pullin, John Dawes. Great dummy. David, Tom David, the half-way line. Brilliant by Quinnell. This is Gareth Edwards. A dramatic start…what a score!”
Almost unbelievably that Barbarians try came in the opening exchanges of a game that went on to be a classic in its own right, as the Carwyn James-coached Baa Baas prevailed 23-11.
New Zealand scored twice through wing Grant Batty but further tries from John Bevan, Fergus Slattery and JPR Williams sealed victory for those wearing the famous black and white hoops.
Full Barbarians and New Zealand teams
Barbarians: JPR Williams (Wales); David Duckham (England), John Dawes (capt, Wales), Mike Gibson (Ireland), John Bevan (Wales); Phil Bennett (Wales), Gareth Edwards (Wales); Ray McLoughlin (Ireland), John Pullin (England), Sandy Carmichael (Scotland), Willie John McBride (Ireland), Bob Wilkinson (Cambridge University), Tom David (Llanelli), Fergus Slattery (Ireland), Derek Quinnell (Wales).
Tries: Edwards, Slattery, Bevan, JPR Williams Cons: Bennett (3) Pen: Bennett.
New Zealand: Joe Karam; Bryan Williams, Bruce Robertson, Ian Hurst, Grant Batty; Bob Burgess, Sid Going; Graham Whiting, Ron Urlich, Kent Lambert, Peter Whiting, Hamish Macdonald, Alistair Scown, Ian Kirkpatrick (capt), Alex Wyllie.
Tries: Batty (2) Pen: Karam.
Referee: Georges Domercq (France)
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