France winger Damian Penaud scooped the International Rugby Players Men’s Try of the Year award for his stunning effort against Scotland in the Guinness Six Nations.
In Round 3 of this year’s championship, Les Bleus got a free-flowing team move going through full-back Brice Dulin’s quickly-taken mark.
He then offloaded to Romain Ntamack who kept the ball alive by flicking it up to Anthony Jelonch with the flanker brought down around the halfway mark.
Scrum-half Antoine Dupont marshalled the ruck quickly and whipped out quick ball with a miss pass to Virimi Vakatawa.
The bulldozing outside centre put a big fend on Zander Fagerson and offloaded beautifully out of the back of the hand, despite the attention of Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship Hamish Watson.
Vakatawa’s flick found Penaud on the edge who chipped over the covering Finn Russell and grubbered the ball over the line before slamming it down despite the best efforts of Ali Price.
The try was voted on by fans from the four nominees shortlisted by the IRP panel: Conrad Smith (NZL, Chair), Rachel Burford (ENG), Thierry Dusautoir (FRA), Fiao’o Faamausili (NZL), Bryan Habana (RSA), Jamie Heaslip (IRE).
Penaud’s eye-catching try was picked ahead of compatriot Pierre-Louis Barassi’s score against Australia in the summer, Luke Jacobson’s effort for New Zealand against Argentina in the Rugby Championship and Lukhanyo Am’s try for South Africa ‘A’ against the British & Irish Lions.
Despite conceding that score, Scotland went on to win the game 27-23 to secure a first triumph in Paris for 22 years.
However, it was a clean sweep on the try front for the French at the World Rugby Awards 2021 as Emilie Boulard started and finished a spectacular team try in the Women’s Six Nations against Wales to win the International Rugby Players Women’s Try of the Year award.
Full-back Boulard gathered the ball on the left wing before jinking inside one defender, dummying and then offloading to support runner Maëlle Filopon.
The outside centre took the ball down the line before shifting it inside to replacement Camille Imart who fixed the final Welsh defender and passed it back to Boulard who dived in at the corner under immense pressure to cap a phenomenal move.
It was a truly fantastic try and made even more impressive by the fact that Boulard was on debut for Les Bleues in the 53-0 victory in Vannes in April.
Boulard’s effort saw off competition from teammate Romane Menager who also dotted down for a great score in this year’s Six Nations against Ireland, while the try Abby Dow scored for England against the French and Italian Sara Barattin’s score against Scotland in the Rugby World Cup 2021 qualifiers also missed out.