Beauden Barrett’s spectacular score against France in Christchurch on June 15, 2013 has been named as the International Rugby Players’ Association’s (IRPA) Try of the Year 2013.
The talented back, who came on as a replacement in that match, becomes the first New Zealander to win the award after two South Africans, an Australian and a player each from England and Ireland have previously been named as winners. The announcement was made on this week's IRB Total Rugby TV show.
New Zealander Andrew Mehrtens, England’s Tony Diprose, Paul Wallace of Ireland and Springbok hero Thinus Delport formed the panel of judges who opted for Barrett’s effort ahead of the four others on the shortlist, which included Barrett’s own team mate Ben Smith, Scotland’s Stuart Hogg and two South Africans, Jean de Villiers and Zane Kirchner.
Barrett’s sensational try resulted from a turnover deep in New Zealand’s own 22 as France attacked. The move, which included slick passing from several members of the All Blacks’ backline and a clever chip ahead, was eventually finished off by Barrett under the French posts.
Upon receiving the award, Barrett said: “It was a great feeling to deliver this try for the team. Like all tries, the ground work is done on the training field and by your team mates, and the buzz when any of the guys manages to dot down is why we play for each other. I am glad that others enjoyed watching it all unfold.”
Panel member Andrew Mehrtens added: “With so many great international tries during 2013, involving both individual brilliance and collective effort, it is never an easy process to settle on one try. However, when it came down to it, Barrett’s try stood out for the judges due to the high level of skills involved by different players, and, most importantly, the teamwork required to make it happen.”
Former winner Jaque Fourie said: “It was great to see the high calibre of tries on offer during 2013. As players, you work hard at your skills day in, day out, and when that hard work pays off by scoring a try on the international stage it is certainly rewarding. This award from IRPA means a lot to the players as it rewards the hard work that goes into pulling off a moment of brilliance. Congratulations to Beauden on an outstanding try.”
2012 – Bryan Habana (South Africa) – South Africa v New Zealand
2011 – Radike Samo (Australia) – Australia v New Zealand
2010 – Chris Ashton (England) – England v Australia
2009 – Jaque Fourie (South Africa) – South Africa v British and Irish Lions
2008 – Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland) – Australia v Ireland
This award caps off an amazing year for New Zealand that saw them win all 14 of the Tests they played. All Blacks also picked up a number of other accolades from this year’s IRB Awards, a sign of their dominance throughout 2013.
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