Rugby’s Greatest Championship always delivers and on Sunday night, one of two sumptuous scores from the 2018 Six Nations could be crowned the finest try of the year.
Sean Maitland’s score in Scotland’s 25-13 win over England back in February and the CJ Stander try that helped Ireland conquer Twickenham and clinch the Grand Slam were two unforgettable moments from a thrilling Championship – and both have been nominated for the International Rugby Players’ Try of the Year award.
At the World Rugby Awards at the glamourous Salle des Etoiles in Monte Carlo, Maitland and Stander will be up against each other, as well as tries from New Zealand stars Beauden Barrett and Brodie Retallick in separate Tests against Australia during this year’s Rugby Championship.
With the finest score of the year set to be crowned, here’s our look back at two sensational Six Nations contenders.
Maitland caps Murrayfield magic
Scotland claimed the Calcutta Cup with victory over England at BT Murrayfield, thanks in no small part to an exemplary team move.
The action began all the way back in the hosts’ 22, an incredible pass from fly-half Finn Russell getting the Scots motoring.
His 30-metre pass off his left hand looped over Jonathan Joseph’s head and fell in front of Jonny May, hitting Huw Jones perfectly in stride for the centre to streak clear.
And while Jones was eventually hauled down, John Barclay and Stuart McInally both then made inroads as the ball came left for Russell to once again loft a perfect ball to Maitland, who held off Anthony Watson to dot down.
Ireland Stand tall at Twickenham
Long before they were dispatching the All Blacks, Ireland were busy romping to Six Nations Grand Slams.
Joe Schmidt’s side brought about a magical end to the 2018 Championship by defeating England 24-15 in their fifth and final game – and they lit up the contest with a stirring Stander score.
Conor Murray delivered the ball from an Ireland lineout to Jonathan Sexton, who then looked set to execute a classic wrap-around play with his prop Tadhg Furlong.
But rather than the tried and tested loop play that has become Ireland’s calling card, Furlong instead flicked a short ball to the charging Bundee Aki, punishing an England defence only with eyes for the dummy run of Sexton.
Aki then picked the correct pass to put Stander in the clear and the No.8 had enough leg drive to hold off James Haskell and ground the ball at the base of the Twickenham post.