There are so many elements to this next try that make it stand out. Firstly, it was a match winning try. Secondly, it was a match winning try against the All Blacks and, thirdly, it was a match winning try against the All Blacks in which Stirling Mortlock was the man!
There is something about that combination that we Aussie fans love. Perhaps it is because Stirlo is our go to man. He is the one who has done if for us in the past. Perhaps it is because he is our only real link to a day when we used to pull off last minute victories pretty damn regularly? And there’s something about last minute tries that seem to make them more special.
Now this next try is hardly last minute. More last ten minutes. But the tension was still there, as it is in any Bledisloe encounter. The knowledge that ANY slip up, by either side, could win or lose that game is unbearable at times. Which makes the celebrations when something like the below happens, all the more special.
3 Scott Staniforth v New Zealand. Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne. (30 June, 2007)
Shees, just re-watching this and I’m asking myself why is it only 3rd! It is a cracker. A set piece move I guess you would say. The set up was great. Aussie lineout about 45 metres out, two points down and less than ten minutes to go. The forwards do the job with the perfect ball, thanks to replacements Adam Freier and Mark Chisholm.
Try and get a load of the backline at the time though. Matt Giteau has moved from inside centre to scrumhalf. Larkham is still at fly half and catches the pass with blindside winger Adam Ashley-Cooper hovering on his inside and replacement inside centre Scott Staniforth outside.
Bernie throws a beauty of a cut out pass to Mortlock on the charge and he just starts to rampage! Inside McAlister. Inside McCaw. And then he’s like an All Black magnet. They’re having flashbacks to 03 and watching this green 13 run away from them with their dreams and they WON’T let it happen again.
So they converge. Mealamu. Mauger. Weepu. Mils. And then perhaps in the greatest piece of timing seen on a rugby field since John Eales announced his retirement, Mortlock bowls the ball over the top to Stani still supporting on the inside (with AAC there as well).
We’re up by three, make it five with the kick. And that’s the final score! Our first win over the kiwis since 2004! And it was that man Mortlock that did it. Again!
What about that piece of Mortlock Magic. But will we see anymore? Only two more tries to go now, so what’s your pick? The Wallabies scored 66 tries this decade, we’ve done three so it should be pretty easy which of the remaining 63 are my top two tries of the decade. Let us know what you think below, and we’ll be back tomorrow to reveal our 2nd best try of the noughties.