Scotland winger pulled off an acrobatic finish

Duhan van der Merwe scored a spectacular try in the corner for Scotland against Italy with Chris Paterson labelling it “the best aerial finish I’ve ever seen in rugby union”.

Scotland speedster van der Merwe escaped the clutches of Italy fly-half Paolo Garbisi and dived high into the air to dot down in acrobatic finish in the left-hand corner to give the home side an early 5-3 lead at BT Murrayfield on Super Saturday.

The Edinburgh wing’s finish was his 17th try for Scotland, and is the latest in a line of stunning scores after his sensational solo effort against England at Twickenham in Round One.

Watch Duhan van der Merwe try v Italy

Scotland centurion Paterson – who himself often featured on the wing for his country – could not hide how impressed he was with the finish while on commentary duties for the BBC.

He said: “That’s the best aerial finish I’ve seen in my life, in terms of rugby union. You see it plenty of times in the 13-man code.

“To the naked eye I thought that was no try…”

Lead commentator Andrew Cotter exclaimed: “His feet were in the West Stand!”

Read more: James Lowe try against France: Yes or no?

James Lowe scored a similar flying try for Ireland against France in Round Two, although further replays suggested the New Zealand-born winger may have had a foot in touch before grounding the ball.

Paterson mentioned how the spectacular tries in the corner are commonplace in rugby league and in a piece in 2021, we wrote about How to score a wonder try: The rugby league skill flying into union and what went into a diving finish in the corner: the acrobatics, the touchline management, the spatial awareness.

In that piece, lethal St Helens and England wing Tommy Makinson said: “You most definitely need a finish like that in your arsenal now. From the international game to those big league games, there’s not much separating the two. If you can add it to your game and do a finish like that, when it’s needed, it adds an extra string to your bow. So it’s definitely needed.

“Your main purpose as a try-scorer is to get that ball over the line, so if you have to ride a tackle or jump (spinning towards touch) to get that ball down, I don’t believe the people who say it’s a bad thing. If you can get that ball down any way possible, it can be more exciting for fans when it goes on the big screen or the ref gives it straight away.”

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