Greatest Tries: Scotland’s most memorable Championship scores

From Hodge to Hogg and Lamont to Laidlaw, Scotland have produced some eye-catching tries in the last 20 years.

From Hodge to Hogg and Lamont to Laidlaw, Scotland have produced some eye-catching tries in the last 20 years.

The greatness of a try can be judged on a number of factors: its aesthetics, outlandishness and importance. All of which are featured on the list.

Here’s ten of the finest since the 2000 Six Nations began…

Duncan Hodge v England – 2000

Duncan Hodge’s try against England in the 2000 Six Nations finale will live long in the memory of all Scots.

England arrived at BT Murrayfield on the cusp of winning a first Grand Slam in five years and were close to a momentus triumph as they led 10-9 at half-time. But Hodge had the last say.

The fly-half had already kicked four penalties earlier on but it was his decisive try late on, where he darted over from close range, guaranteed Hodge a place in Scottish folklore.

Not only did they prevent England a Grand Slam, but he helped Scotland reclaim the Calcutta Cup after ten years in the Auld Enemy’s hands.

Budge Pountney v Ireland – 2001

While this game might be remembered fondly for being Scotland’s largest victory over Ireland in the Six Nations era, it also featured a gem of a try by Budge Pountney.

John Leslie’s carving line-break and Chris Paterson’s fancy footwork provided Pountney the most generous of run-ins to score underneath the sticks.

The legendary voice of commentator Bill McLaren only adds to the nostalgia.

Brendan Laney v Italy – 2002

The rugby equivalent of a classic rope-a-dope. With Scotland on the back foot, Bryan Redpath cleared his side’s lines with a healthy kick into Italy’s half. Better yet, the Scots engineered a turnover at the next ruck and put themselves in a fruitful counter-attacking position.

The ball was sent quickly out wide into the hands of Brendan Laney – nicknamed ‘Chainsaw’ for the way he cut through defences – who used all his speed and guile to sell a couple of Italian defenders a dummy and cross over for the score. Like a knife through butter.

Chris Paterson v Italy – 2003

Still Scotland’s top points scorer, utility-back Chris Paterson also showed his handiness with ball in hand from time to time.

After receiving a Simon Taylor offload out wide, after a typical rampaging carry off the back of a scrum by the No. 8, Paterson produced an ingenious chip-and-chase over the top of Italy’s last defender, Gert Peens, to collect and score.

Johnnie Beattie v Ireland – 2010

Like a demolition tank, nothing was stopping Johnnie Beattie getting to the try line here. Not even three Ireland defenders could stop the former Glasgow Warrior.

The build-up play was neat too, with Ross Ford, Kelly Brown and Graeme Morrison exchanging pin-point offloads, but it was the image of Beattie ploughing over which lives on.

It was the difference-maker for Scotland at Croke Park on the day, with Scotland registering a first triumph on Irish soil since 1998.

Stuart Hogg v Italy – 2013

There can’t be a collection of Scotland’s greatest tries without a mention of Stuart Hogg.

This try arguably put the dazzling full-back on the map and demonstrates everything we admire about him.

With Italy surging forward in numbers, Hogg made a perfect read to intercept an almost-certain Italian try and sprint 95 metres down the field.

Duncan Taylor v France – 2016

Taylor’s speculative tap-and-go score from 60 metres out proved that sometimes following your instinct is the way forward.

Tommy Seymour’s superb turnover awarded Scotland a penalty, and without a second’s thought, Taylor quickly tapped and beat three defenders on his way to an excellent solo try.

Stuart Hogg v Ireland – 2016

Is it a surprise to see Hogg on here twice? Probably not.

Perhaps Hogg’s greatest try in a Scotland jersey, the full-back calmly collected a high ball at his own 10-metre line and exploded away.

Carving through Ireland’s defence and beating multiple green jerseys in the process, Hogg dived over to stun a sold-out Aviva Stadium.

Sean Maitland v England – 2018

Who could forget that pass? It had been ten years since Scotland last lifted the Calcutta Cup when they welcomed England to Murrayfield.

The tempo was set early but it was Finn Russell’s audacious pass to Huw Jones which propelled Scotland forward to score a try for the ages.

After some quick phase-play, Sean Maitland demonstrated his finisher’s instinct in the corner to ensure a stunning try for the Scots.

Stuart McInally v England – 2019

Twelve months on, Scotland found themselves in trouble. With just half an hour gone, they trailed England 31-0 at Twickenham and looked as if it was all she wrote.

Stuart McInally’s try may have seemed insignificant at the time but it kick-started a memorable comeback. The hooker charged down Owen Farrell’s kick and sprinted 65 metres, not to mention leaving both Jonny May and Farrell for dead. The rest is history…